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"Another airport joins the 'Boston Airport' bandwagon"
Thursday, May 11, 2006
New name flying toward Worcester Airport
We didn't think a name change would fly, if it didn't include a mention of
- Robert Z. Nemeth, AIRPORT COMMISSION MEMBER
By Bronislaus B. Kush
The Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette
WORCESTER- Worcester Regional Airport may become a thing of the past.
The name, that is.
The Airport Commission this week unanimously recommended that the airfield's
name be changed to Worcester-Metrowest-Boston Airport to boost the
struggling facility's visibility in the travel market and within the airline
IMG Inc., an airport consultant, had recommended a name change in a
wide-ranging report released last year that offered suggestions on how the
facility could draw more airlines and travelers.
The commission agreed with IMG's conclusion that adding Boston to the name
would emphasize the city's proximity to the state capital.
Manchester Airport in New Hampshire last month changed its name to
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport for the same reason.
Throughout the nation, some so-called "second tier airports" are changing
their names to catch the attention of air passengers, particularly those who
use the Internet to find flights.
"Affiliation with a much larger market is now a model in the industry," said
Robert Z. Nemeth, an airport commissioner. "It's the flavor of the day."
Mr. Nemeth said by adding Boston the airport would automatically show up on
computer searches by those seeking air tickets to that city.
He said it also makes sense because of the municipally-owned airport's close
affiliation with Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the facility,
as well as Boston's Logan International Airport.
Massport officials could not be reached for comment yesterday but Craig Coy,
the agency's chief executive, has said he would support an effort to add
Boston to the airport's name.
Mr. Nemeth said the commission held long talks about new names, but it
insisted that "Worcester" be retained.
"The commission felt strongly about this," he said, declining to cite other
names that were considered. "We didn't think a name change would fly, if it
didn't include a mention of Worcester."
The commission's recommendation was forwarded to City Manager Michael V.
O'Brien for review. The City Council would have to sign off on any name
Administration officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Worcester Regional Airport is the facility's third name.
When it first opened, it was called Worcester Municipal Airport.
In 1965, a committee of the City Council and city administrators was formed
to find ways to honor the late Mayor James D. O'Brien, a popular politician.
Though the panel thought it would be a good idea to name the airport after
Mr. O'Brien, the local Chamber of Commerce didn't, setting up a three-year
The airport was finally named "Worcester Municipal Airport, James D. O'Brien
A few years back, the name was changed to Worcester Regional Airport to
broaden its appeal in Central Massachusetts.
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