12 Sep 2003

Solomons international airport has name change

4:43 am on 12 September 2003

The Solomon Islands government says the name change for the country's only international airport will bring benefits to the country.

Henderson Field is now to be known as Honiara International Airport - Henderson Field.

It was previously named after an American airman killed during the Second World War and plans for a name change earlier this year sparked widespread criticism, particularly in the United States.

A petition attracted eight thousand names.

In the face of that opposition, the government indicated the name would not change but the Aviation Minister, Daniel Fa'afanua, says a new generation of Solomon Islanders wants to move forward.

Meanwhile, the American veterans group which sponsored the petition says it received a letter from the Prime Minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza, earlier this week, saying there would be no change.

But they say they can tolerate the new name since Henderson remains part of it.