MP Poonam Mahajan Requests PM To Rename Juhu Airport After JRD Tata

In a letter dated 2nd December, 2017, Member of Parliament (MP) Poonam Mahajan has written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to name Juhu airport after Bharat Ratna awardee, Late JRD Tata. Former Chairman of the Tata Group from 1938 to 1991, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, fondly known as JRD Tata, started civil aviation in India at the Juhu airport in 1928, and also introduced the Bombay Flying Club, which is the first flying club and flying school in the country.

A pilot as well as the Chairperson Airport Advisory Committee, BJP MP from the Mumbai North-West constituency, Poonam Mahajan in the letter said, “It would pertinent to note that the first ever flight in the history of Indian aviation was undertaken by JRD Tata who became one of the first Indians to be granted a commercial pilot’s license in 1929.” JRD is also the recipient of the prestigious Daniel Guggenheim Medal commemorating significant achievement in aeronautics in 1998 for his lifetime of significant contributions to aviation, for his pioneering work in developing commercial air travel in India and Asia and for his leadership in establishing Air India as a major international link between Asia and rest of world.

Mahajan further pointed that keeping in mind his notable contributions in the Indian Civil Aviation Sector, it would be fairly appropriate that Juhu Airport in Mumbai is named as ‘Bharat Ratna JRD Tata Airport’. She plans to raise the issue at the Airport Users Committee meeting to be held at Juhu airport on December 13, 2017, to document the demand in minute-form. In the 1990s, there was a great demand to name the Mumbai international airport after JRD Tata, but the Shiv Sena and BJP government in the centre decided to name it after Chattrapati Shivaji. Meanwhile, the Airport Authority of India is starting a small museum at the entrance of Juhu airport, where yesteryears’ photographs of JRD, the Bombay Flying Club and his planes, will be displayed.

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