Airport Gets Renamed--Again

10:36 PM, Dec 30, 2008   |    comments
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Columbia (WLTX) - One of Columbia's airports is getting its second name change in a month.

Richland County Council voted Tuesday night to rename the airport off Rosewood Drive to the following: Columbia Jim Hamilton-L.B. Owens Airport.

The airport, which has been known as Owens Downtown Airport for years, got a new name, Jim Hamilton Airport, back on December 16. Council member Greg Pearce says the quick change was a mistake.

"In our zeal to honor Hamilton for his 46 years of service, we did not do our due diligence we should have done regarding L.B. Owens," said Richland County Councilman Greg Pearce.

The change was meant as an honor to Hamilton, the airport's former manager, who's also a well-known aviation expert in Columbia.

However, descendants of Lawrence B. Owens, the airport's original namesake, objected to the change. On behalf of the family, great-grandson Lyles Glenn wrote a letter to the council asking for them to reconsider.

"Initially the airport began with Mayor Owens vision. We're very proud of Columbia. We're proud of Owens Field, and what's happened over the years," said Glenn.

Owens was the mayor of Columbia from 1926 to 1941, as well as a legislator and doctor.

Both the airport council and Glenn agreed to compromise and use both names in the new title.

The county council also agreed to help fund a new kiosk at the airport with history on both Hamilton and Owens.


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