Imagine hearing the pilot over the airplane intercom say, “Welcome to Oprah Winfrey International Airport.”
Councilwoman Sharon Hurt is lobbying to have Nashville’s Berry Field Nashville (BNA) airport named in honor of the media mogul. Councilwoman Hurt has already written letters to Nashville Mayor David Briley and airport board chairman, Dexter Samuels, to request the name change. Citing in an interview with USA Today, “I think it’s a grand opportunity for us to recognize someone of Oprah’s stature.”
If you’re wondering what ties Oprah has to the “Athens of the South,” well, she is a graduate of Tennessee State University, an HBCU.
While Hurt has reached out to two city representatives about the name change, the city council doesn’t decide whether or not the name change happens, that is the responsibility of the airport authority. There are also a few roadblocks that could stand in the way of Oprah having an airport named in her honor with the current policy in place. The policy states that an airport name change could only happen if the honoree has made a “substantial contribution” to BNA or the field of aviation — and the potential honoree must also have been deceased for at least two years for the change to be made.
“Both the president/CEO of the authority and I agree that Ms. Winfrey’s achievements and accolades are too numerous to recite, however, renaming the airport after Ms. Winfrey does not meet the criteria established by the (airport authority),” Dexter Samuels said in a letter.
That wasn’t exactly a no, so while we won’t be flying into Oprah Winfrey International Airport anytime soon (at least in Nashville), it is still a possibility.