Bid to change Derry airport name to honour Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart After completing her transatlantic challenge, Amelia became the first person to fly across the Pacific

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A bid is under way in Londonderry to change the name of the local airport to honour aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.

Derry City Council will later debate a motion to put her name in the title of Derry City Airport.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland in Canada in a bid to become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic.

She hoped to land in Paris, but bad weather and technical problems altered her course and she landed near Derry.

The motion for the name change was brought forward by Sinn Fein councillor Elisha McCallion.

"This coming May will mark the 80th Anniversary of Amelia Earhart becoming the first women to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic.

"She had intended to fly from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland to Paris but due to technical problems her 14-hour journey ended when she had to set the plane down on farmland at Ballyarnett.

"The story of Amelia Earhart's epic journey is known throughout the world and we felt that there was a need to recognise the significant visitor potential the Amelia Earhart legacy holds for the city and district.

"One way we could do this is by Derry City Council taking the necessary steps to formally establish the 'Amelia Earhart, City of Derry Airport'."

After her transatlantic achievement, Amelia Earhart continued to break records.

In 1935, she became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu to Oakland, California.

In 1937, Amelia set herself the challenge of being the first woman to fly around the world.

This challenge, however, would prove too great and she disappeared after taking off from Lae New Guinea, bound for Howland Island in the middle of the Pacific.

A rescue attempt lasted 17 days and scoured more that 250,000 square miles of ocean, but she was never found.

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