Cardiff Airport: Do Not Fly Gentle Into That Good Night

 

Would you be more likely to fly to Cardiff if the airport was named after a famous poet?

Geraint Davies thinks so. The Swansea West MP has suggested Cardiff Airport could be named after Dylan Thomas. He put forward the idea during a parliamentary inquiry into the international promotion of Wales, asking tourism experts to back his idea at a meeting of the Welsh affairs committee this morning.

Mr Davies said: "The re-branding of {Liverpool} John Lennon Airport increased traffic ten-fold. Even {Doncaster Sheffield} Robin Hood Airport did well. I was wondering what you thought of the idea of renaming Cardiff Airport Dylan Thomas International Airport Cardiff?

"The idea would be to tag it with a global cultural brand that's got longevity, to tag Wales as a cultural destination rather than another part of England."

Hotelier Mike Morgan, who was giving evidence to the committee, suggested: "Or the Tom Jones Airport, or Katherine Jenkins Airport?"

Another witness, National Trust Wales Director Justin Albert said: "There's a John Wayne Airport in California. It does seem like a good idea but finding the right name that doesn't annoy people, that's the other thing. The John Wayne Airport, I believe, was rather controversial; some people were on one side, some people were on the other.

"I think it's a good point and it could work well but choose the right name and not just choose a name that has become so anodyne that it's a name everyone loves."

Mr Morgan told the MPs: "The airport is critical but I would stress that things are going in the right direction. There's a lot of work to do, loads of work to do, because basically the airport was a long way behind where it should have been. We lost out massively to other regional airports as everybody knows."

Mr Albert said: "I think that a nation having its own airport is incredibly important. I think it gives us our national identity. We are a devolved nation and that's very important in how we look at ourselves how we actually attract people internationally to our country."

The re-naming idea was one of three mentions of Dylan Thomas by Geraint Davies. By the third namecheck, his colleague Nia Griffith had started to smile and roll her eyes.

Cardiff Airport will always be Rhoose to those of use who grew up nearby, but you can probably think of alternative names. Belfast has George Best Airport - why not Ryan Giggs Airport? But as we mark the centenary of his birth, at least an airport named after the Rimbaud of Cwmdonkin Drive would be useful for promoting duty-free sales.

 
David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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