Foreign affairs

Boston dignitaries are taking a second look at two airports in New England that aren’t in Boston but want to use the name. First off was the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, about 55 miles northwest of Boston’s Logan International Airport, and the site of one of the first forays more than a decade ago into the region by Southwest Airlines.

Manchester earlier this year became the Manchester Boston regional airport. At first, officials at the Massport agency in Boston (AKA the “Hub of the Universe”) objected then took it as flattery, but now a smaller airport in Worcester, Mass, about 50 miles west of Boston, wants to become the Worcester-MetroWest-Boston airport.

Just what the Massport masters will say is unclear because they operate Worcester on behalf of the city of Worcester, the former factory town where the name idea started. Massport also owns and runs Logan, or more properly the General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport, presumably the loser in such a name game.

Despite the name, Logan is not a general aviation airport; Logan was a general in the Spanish-American War and WWI who went to Harvard but was still smart enough not to have gotten shot. The Massporters may make note of the fact that Worcester (pronounced somewhere between ‘Wuster’ and ‘Wister’) has but one scheduled service these days, and that’s to another slightly optimistically named airport, Orlando-Sanford, which is about 20 miles from Florida’s Orlando International Airport.

Perhaps the moral is that some name changes are more informative than others: back in the 1970s, Dulles airport added the word ‘Washington’ after too many travellers landed instead at the Dallas airport, perplexed that men in cowboy boots and hats were at an airport they supposed to be near the capital.

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