Thu, Sep 07, 2006 - Page 1 News List

`Chiang Kai-shek' airport enters dustbin of history

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chiang Kai-shek International Airport was officially renamed Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday.

"The new name will become effective as of [yesterday]," said Minister of Transportation and Communications Tsai Duei (蔡堆), while adding that it would take two to three months to complete the entire name change process, including changing logos and processing some paperwork.

Tsai made the remarks during a press conference held following the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday morning. The airport code will remain TPE, Tsai said.

Speaking on behalf of Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Government Information Office Deputy Minister William Yih (易榮宗) said that changing the airport's name to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport reflected the will of local residents.

"The Taoyuan County Government and its residents have protested and requested changing the airport's name many times. In addition, most major airports in the world are named after big cities," Yih said.

The government is hoping that the Civil Aeronautics Administration and airlines will help promote the name change to the world, Yih added.

The airport name change recently drew attention after President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) highlighted the proposal in his speech on Sept. 1 during a ceremony held to reward military servicemen for outstanding and remarkable services ahead of Soldier's Day on Sept. 3.

On a separate occasion that day, Su said that the airport name change was to be discussed and approved at yesterday's weekly Cabinet meeting.

"Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport" was actually the official name for the airport when construction was completed in 1979, Su said.

But then transport minister Lin Chin-sheng (林金生) suggested that the Cabinet instead name the airport after former president and dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) instead.

Terminal I of the airport was completed and opened on Feb. 26, 1979, while Terminal II was opened on July 29, 2000. Approximately 29 million passengers and 149,000 airplanes land and take off from the airport every year.

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