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story.lead_photo.caption Margaret Piper speaks to the Airport Commission, urging it not to rename Little Rock National Airport after the Clintons. - Photo by Gavin Lesnick

— The Little Rock Airport Commission unanimously voted Tuesday morning to rename the state's largest airport after Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The Little Rock Airport Commission unanimously passed a resolution changing the facility's name to the Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport at Adams Field.

Panel approves Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport name

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Following a public comment section, the panel approved the change to Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport at Adams Field. Chairman Jim Dailey said he believed the new name would go into effect immediately.

Bill Clinton, in a statement released by his presidential center, said he and Hillary were "humbled" by the vote.

"We are grateful for this honor and for all that the people of Arkansas have done for us," Bill Clinton said. "And we look forward to many happy landings at the airport in the years ahead."

Shortly after the vote, Dailey said he looked forward to the inaugural flight Sunday on U.S. Airways from Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.

"What an example of bipartisanship," Dailey said, adding later that the airport hopes the name change will have a real impact: "Our goal is that this will further embrace our relationship with the Clintons to the extent that they will continue to do what they are doing by bringing speakers and world attention through the Clinton public service school, continuing to bring more visitors here to the Clinton Presidential Center and bring more economic benefit to the state."

Feedback on the proposed name change was varied before the commission took action and Dailey said he heard from many people who couldn't make the meeting. One man from out-of-state vowed to try and avoid landing in Little Rock if its airport was named for the Clintons, Dailey said.

Arkansas Speaker of the House-designate Darrin Williams, one of about a dozen people who spoke in 3-minute allotments, supported the change because he said everyone should be proud of an Arkansan who became president and a First Lady who became senator and secretary of state.

"The timing is right," Williams said, noting a new name would accompany the airport's extensive renovation project.

Those against the change included Margaret Piper and her husband, who spoke against the move, noting various scandals Bill Clinton has been tied to. They accused the board of trying to pass the measure in secret.

"The Clintons left Arkansas," she said at one point. "Get over it."

Another man said he supported the airport being named after Bill Clinton, but said the joint name was "a little too backwoods and countrified." He guessed people would start referring to the airport as the Hillbilly airport by combining the names.

There are at least six commercial airports named after former U.S. presidents. They include John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York; George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston; Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C.; Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield, Ill.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Thank you for coming to the website of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. We're working to keep you informed with the latest breaking news.

Information for this article was contributed by Noel Oman of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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  • dmallor
    March 20, 2012 at 10:13 a.m.

    They can call it the Monica Lewinsky airport if that gets us more direct flights instead of layovers in Atlanta and Dallas :)

  • ToTheLeft
    March 20, 2012 at 10:18 a.m.

    Love that photo of Ms. Piper--looks like she bit into a lemon! Good for Arkansas. Bill Clinton has done more good work all over the world than any former president. He could have retired and done nothing. But he is making changes world wide. Good for Bill.

  • NoUserName
    March 20, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.

    LR should just annex Clinton, AR, rename itself, and be done with it.

  • KittyDigitize
    March 20, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.

    Good grief... they act like he's the Messiah. I think its a disgrace to Mr. Adams legacy. All the problems we have now were catapulted by the Clinton presidency and for crying out loud.. he never left the presidency! Their agenda is a one world order and their school teaches Socialism to the hilt. Don't be fooled by their claims to Christianity. Their fruit bears no such mark. The saving grace of this all is that ONE DAY SOON, they will have to kneel before Jesus sitting on his earthly throne and plead their case. By then it will be too late for them. Something they believe will never happen, I'm sure. My what a surprise that day will be.

  • k9gold
    March 20, 2012 at 10:29 a.m.

    This is the dumbest thing anyone has done in this state in a long time. Bill and Hillary have been involved in too many scandals. He lied to cover up his debauchery in the oval office, he was impeached by Congress, and debarred by the state. He even let Osama Bin Laden escape from Sudan to plan the attack on the Twin Towers. Yall really outdid yourselves in picking these two to associate with Adams Field.

  • quinn53
    March 20, 2012 at 10:44 a.m.

    I love what Mrs. Piper said, "the Clintons left Arkansas". "Get over it."

  • rural01
    March 20, 2012 at 11:21 a.m.

    I admire Bill and Hillary Clinton. This is a fitting tribute--so much better than naming the airport after some corporation.

  • DUNND
    March 20, 2012 at 11:32 a.m.

    What a tragedy! A couple who are married in name only, a philanderer, a perjurer, the 2nd only President to be impeached, and now some sycophants are wanting to put this national disgrace's name on an airport. Was there a bribe involved?

  • PawPaw
    March 20, 2012 at 11:58 a.m.

    You people continue to amaze me with your stupidity over the clintons. I do not tell people what state I am from because of these 2 liberals. Why don't you change the name of the state to clinton, or rename all the cities after them. This is beyond ignorant. Bubbaville would have been better.

  • Ran2133
    March 20, 2012 at noon

    The idiots are loose again here in Little Rock. Should just leave it as "Adams Field."

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