The late legendary boxer and social activist Muhammad Ali will receive a major honor from his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. According to the Courier Journal, the city will rename Louisville International Airport after Ali.
The push to have the airport renamed after the boxer began in 2017, the news outlet writes. The plan was recently approved by the Louisville Regional Airport Authority board. Once airport officials finalize the plan with Muhammad Ali Enterprises LLC within the next few weeks, the project will officially be brought to fruition. The renaming is a part of a $100 million plan to improve the airport. Within the span of three to five years, the airport will get a new terminal, walkways, elevators and jet ways.
Officials are aiming to have the airport renamed by June, which will mark three years since he passed away. “We felt a clear takeaway was that the profile of our city could be greatly enhanced by associating Ali’s name with our airport,” said Louisville Regional Airport Authority board member Dale Boden. He also shared that the city is making a major effort to illustrate how Ali was embedded in the fabric of Louisville through different tributes.
Ali’s loved ones are excited about the airport renaming. “I am happy that visitors from far and wide who travel to Louisville will have another touch point to Muhammad and be reminded of his open and inclusive nature, which is reflective of our city,” his widow Lonnie Ali told the news outlet. “Muhammad was a global citizen, but he never forgot the city that gave him his start. It is a fitting testament to his legacy.”
News about the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport comes just weeks after it was revealed that at-large Councilwoman Sharon Hurt is fighting to have Nashville International Airport named after media mogul Oprah Winfrey.