Very soon, travellers who touch down at the Louisville International Airport will no longer be welcomed with the aforementioned name via the airport’s PA system, but instead, with the name of one of the most celebrated sportsmen from the city; Muhammad Ali.
On the eve of his birthday (Wednesday, January 16), officials announced the airport will be renamed after the world’s greatest boxer. The new name, Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport will, however, maintain its three-letter location identifier which is SDF, according to the
The motion to change the name of the airport, which was proposed by Mayor Greg Fischer was approved by the Louisville Regional Airport Authority, the
“Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown, and fortunately, that is our great city of Louisville,” Mayor Fischer said.
“Muhammad became one of the most well-known people to ever walk the Earth and has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people.
“It is important that we, as a city, further champion The Champ’s legacy,” he added. “And the airport renaming is a wonderful next step.”
The new name, however, needs to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. The rights to use his name also needs to be finalized and agreed with Muhammad Ali Enterprises, but that should not really be an issue as Ali’s widow, Lonnie Ali, has given the change of name her blessing, according to WDRB TV.
“I am proud that the Louisville Regional Airport Authority and the City of Louisville are supportive of changing the name of the Louisville International Airport to reflect Muhammad’s impact on the city and his love for his hometown,” Lonnie said in a statement.
“I am happy that visitors from far and wide who travel to Louisville will have another touch point to Muhammad and be reminded of his open and inclusive nature, which is reflective of our city. Muhammad was a global citizen, but he never forgot the city that gave him his start. It is a fitting testament to his legacy.”
The airport has also planned to set aside $100, 000 as funds to rebrand and market the new airport name upon approval, according to WDRB TV.
Born January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky, Muhammad Ali, who had a very stellar boxing career, winning the World Heavyweight Title three times was also a staunch civil rights activist as well as philanthropist.
He passed away in 2016 at the age of 74.