The Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission said Tuesday it would honor former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by renaming the airport after the political power couple, Reuters reported. The seven-member body voted unanimously on the decision, though the Federal Aviation Administration still must approve the change. An FAA spokeswoman told the Associated Press the name change would be checked for conflicts and added to the national directory. The airport's call sign, LIT, will not change.
If the FAA approves the decision, the Clintons will join the small ranks of only six other presidents to have Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, George H.W. Bush in Houston, Texas, Gerald Ford Airport in Grand Rapids Michigan, Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport in Dickinson, N. Dakota and Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport in Springfield, Illinois.
Bill Clinton, who was Governor of the state for nine years before becoming president in 1992, released a statement saying, Hillary and I are humbled by the Little Rock Airport Commission's decision ... We are grateful for this honor and for all that the people of Arkansas have done for us. And we look forward to many happy landings at the airport in the years ahead.
Airport Commission Chairman Jim Dailey offered comment in a press release: The Clintons continue to have a major impact on our state and our local economy, and we believe renaming our airport in their honor is a fitting way to recognize their service and their position in Arkansas and our nation's history.
The Airport is the state's busiest, servicing 2.2 million passengers a year. The Commission has further plans to expand the scope of the airport by 2020, when it will become an international port. Hillary Clinton served as legal counsel to the commission when she worked at the Little Rock law firm, Rose.