Campaign at International Airport in Atlanta to Promote Hartsfield and Jackson

“T ravelers arriving at the Atlanta airport are now being greeted by giant posters promoting both ‘Hartsfield’ and ‘Jackson,’ the airport’s namesakes”, according to this article written by Kelly Yamanouchi of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s part of the airport’s new campaign to encourage people to use both names when mentioning the airport. The posters cover a large construction wall in the high-profile greeting area at the top of the escalators from the people-mover train in the domestic terminal.”

New campaign? Why? Does money really need to be spent at the international airport in Atlanta to bring about more awareness of the two mayors of Atlanta after whom the airport was named — especially when many of the people traveling through it probably do not even care?

The following few paragraphs were extracted from this article pertaining to why we even need to name airports after people in the first place:

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport was already named after the late William Berry Hartsfield, a former mayor of Atlanta who was credited with developing the airport into a national aviation center; but when Maynard Jackson — another former mayor of Atlanta who helped arrange for the rebuilding of the huge terminal of the airport to modern standards — died on June 23, 2003, there was a movement to change the name of the airport to Maynard H. Jackson Atlanta International Airport. As you might imagine, the supporters and descendants of William B. Hartsfield opposed that idea and prompted a compromise by the City Council of the City of Atlanta.

I am not sure why the descendants of Asa Candler — yet another former mayor of Atlanta who was chiefly responsible for the success of Coca-Cola after purchasing the formula from John Pemberton, who was a pharmacist credited with inventing the formula and never had an airport named after him — did not oppose the renaming of the airport. After all, the original name of the airport was Candler Field before it became Atlanta Municipal Airport.

The official name of International Concourse F in Atlanta — in which I was taken on a private tour before it opened to the public in May of 2012 — is Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr. International Terminal.”

Naming airports — as well as highways, buildings and other edifices — generally seems to cause problems. Did you know who were William Berry Hartsfield or Maynard Holbrook Jackson before you read this article? Do you care, really? Will anyone care who were Hartsfield or Jackson 100 years from now? Other than in places such as in New York or Paris as examples, do you know of people who refer to airports by the names of the people who were honored to have those airports named after them?

In general, airports should be named after the regions they serve. There would be no debates about after whom they should be named; no name changes; and no expenses every time the names were changed. The names would be easily remembered for generations: “Um…what is the name of that airport which serves Atlanta?”

The name of the airport should be Atlanta International Airport, in my opinion. It would certainly save money currently being spent on this campaign with posters for greater awareness of William Berry Hartsfield or Maynard Holbrook Jackson; and the Atlanta City Council would be attending to more important business matters concerning the city of Atlanta instead of approving a resolution earlier this year demanding to know why some people still omit the name Jackson when mentioning the name of the airport…

Source of photograph: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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