The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) is considering whether the name of Bradley International Airport needs to be revised in order to expand its visibility as a location for new domestic and international air traffic.
The facility was named in honor of Lt. Eugene M. Bradley of Antlers, Oklahoma, a 24-year-old who was killed in August 1941 when his aircraft crashed during a dogfight training drill at what was then known as the Windsor Locks Army Air Base. The military base became a commercial airport in 1947, carrying Bradley’s surname.
According to a CTNewsJunkie.com report, the possibility of renaming the airport was raised during a Jan. 16 CAA board meeting. CAA Executive Director Kevin Dillon questioned whether Bradley should follow the examples of airports that carried a geographical factor in their name, such as New Hampshire’s Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and Maryland’s Baltimore-Washington International Airport, in order to give the airport a more prominent regional identity as it seeks new routes.
“We don’t have a definitive direction on it at this point,” Dillon said. “It’s important for an airport to be geographically identified, but we do want to be very careful about the legacy of the airport and our veterans’ groups.”
The CAA also committed to seeking new routes in 2019, with a primary focus on establishing a nonstop flight between Bradley and Seattle, which the CAA said could be used to create an access point for travelers heading to Asia. The CAA is also focused on new routes to Phoenix and the Caribbean. CAA Board Chairman Thomas A. “Tony” Sheridan also promised to focus on airport renovations to increase traveler comfort.
“It’s all about streamlining the whole home-to-plane experience,” Sheridan said. “We don’t want people when they come to the airport to feel anxious, we want it to feel warm and friendly.”