You likely won’t know it from looking at any signs, websites or other local materials, but Wichita’s airport has officially changed its name – courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport officially became Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport on Nov. 13.
That’s because the FAA had a publishing deadline to meet before the end of the year for aeronautical charts, airport directories and other documents, said Victor White, the city’s director of airports.
“The feds have made it official now,” he said. “I got the first airport facility directory (with the new name) a few days ago.”
White said when the name change was approved by the city council last April, the plan was to start using the Eisenhower name around the time of the terminal’s opening this spring.
Since the FAA has already issued the airport with a new license using the Eisenhower name, White said the airport will start using it earlier than local officials had planned.
“The airport itself will start using the name some time toward the tail end of this month,” he said.
Some websites are already using the Eisenhower name for the airport, including FlightAware, a flight-tracking site, and AirNav.com, an aviation information site for pilots as well as SkyVector, which provides online aeronautical charts. But popular travel websites such as Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity still use the Mid-Continent name or just the airport code, ICT, a check of those sites revealed on Thursday afternoon.
A brief search of the FAA’s website showed that both the Eisenhower and the Mid-Continent name are used throughout it.
Along with the airport’s new name, the main road leading to it also will be renamed. White said what is now known as Mid-Continent Road will become Eisenhower Airport Parkway. That stretch of road runs south from the intersection of Ridge and Taft to about where the FAA control tower sits, which is just east of the current passenger terminal.
That street name change has been approved by various city and county departments, he said, but he doesn’t know how soon signs reflecting the new street name will be installed. He said there are also more than 20 highway signs that will have to be changed by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
White said no businesses will be affected by the street name change – just the airport terminal.
He said a firm opening date has not been set for the new terminal, part of a $200 million project begun in September 2012 that includes construction of a $40 million parking garage. Once construction of the terminal is finished, there are a lot of other smaller projects to be done on the inside, for the airlines, the food, beverage and retail vendors, and the Transportation Security Administration.
“There’s a lot of moving parts here,” he said.
White said the opening of the terminal could happen sometime in April.