10 Airports Named After Famous People And Historical Figures

Aside from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
by Ysabel Y. Yuzon   |  Jun 27, 2020
Image: (L) Instagram/cristiano (R) Nikola Tesla/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)
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On June 25, PaPaPi started trending on Twitter after three House representatives, including Presidential son Paolo Duterte, filed a bill to change the name of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas, in order to be “easily be identified as the international doorway of the country, in view of it being in Filipino language and branding it as the international airport of the Philippines.”

Whether or not you agree with the bill (or its timing), it's actually very common for airports to be eponymous, often named after famous historical and political figures.

Below, a list of international airports across the world named after artists, scientists, athletes, and world leaders:

Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Italy

Also known as Rome–Fiumicino International Airport, it is the biggest airport in Italy. Leonardo da Vinci, as many of us learned in school and by reading The Da Vinci Code, is the epitome of the Renaissance man: he is a painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer.


Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport in Portugal

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The only living figure on this list, Madeira Airport was renamed after five-time FIFA Player of the Year awardee Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017. This came after winning the European Championship the year prior. He is the most-followed athlete on social media, and is also among the world's highest-paid.


Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Mongolia

Temujin was born into humble beginnings before becoming leader and conquerer Chinggis Khan (also written as Genghis Khan), which roughly translates to “Universal Ruler.” According to History.com, "Genghis Khan conquered more than twice as much land as any other person in history, bringing Eastern and Western civilizations into contact in the process."

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in the USA

Born in 1901, Louis Armstrong was a bandleader, singer, soloist, film star, and comedian. He is the most influential jazz musician in history, and as an actor, appeared in over 30 movies until his death in 1971.

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport in Serbia

Famous inventor Nikola Tesla is a Serbian-American engineer and physicist whose life-long work made significant impact in the "production, transmission and application of electric power."

Federico Fellini International Airport in Italy

Born in Rimini, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Federico Fellini is reveered as the maestro of Italian cinema. Some of his most iconic films include La Strada, La Dolce Vita, 8½, Nights of Cabiria, and Amarcord. He is widely recognized for his deeply personal and surreal approach to creating movies.


Indira Gandhi International Airport in India

One of the few airports named after a woman, Indira Gandhi was the first (and so far, the only) female prime minister of India who served for three terms from 1966 to 1977. In 1980, she returned to serve a fourth term until her assasination in 1984.

Galileo Galilei Airport in Italy

Located in Tuscany, it is also known as the Pisa International Airport. Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa on February 15, 1564. He is an Italian Italian natural philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician.

John F. Kennedy International Airport in the USA

Aside from being the wrong airport Ross went to on the Friends finale, JFK is famously known for being named after John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States who was assasinated in Dallas, Texas in 1963.

Venice Marco Polo Airport in Italy

The airport in Venice, the popular game from your childhood, and the chain of hotels worldwide are all named after explorer, trader, and author Marco Polo. He traveled from Europe to Asia in the 1200s, and served as Mongol emperor Kublai Khan's foreign emissary for roughly two decades.



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Ysabel Y. Yuzon
Candy Editor In Chief
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