Nearly two years after a resolution was passed in the Maharashtra Assembly, Mumbai Airport has finally been renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji ‘Maharaj’ International Airport.
On Thursday, Union Ministry formally approved a request from the Maharashtra government to add ‘Maharaj’ to the name.
Union Aviation Minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, confirmed this news by tweeting about it. He said that Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is now Chhatrapati Shivaji ‘Maharaj’ International Airport and was very thankful to the current government for approving this decision. He also congratulated the people of Maharashtra via the tweet.
A demand to add the honorific was first made in 2016 by BJP MP Sambhaji Raje Chhatrapati, a descendant of the Maratha warrior king. Following that, the Maharashtra assembly passed a resolution to rename the airport and the railway station.
While Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) became Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus soon after, the proposal to rename Mumbai’s international airport was pending.
The airport’s renaming will mean that airport authorities will have to make a lot of changes, from informing the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to changing all the boards on the airport premises. The civic authorities will also have to change the signage on the city roads that lead to the international airport.
Mumbai airport is no stranger to changes in its name. Built to serve bombers of the Royal Air Force during World War ll , it was known as RAF Santacruz in the 1930s. Post-independence, it came to be known as Bombay International Airport.
In 1970, once the international travel started booming in India, the airport shifted its international operations to a new terminal near Sahara Village in Andheri. That terminal was referred to as Sahar International Airport, while the original Bombay International Airport came to be known as Santacruz Airport.
In 2006, the airport was privatized and the two terminals were collectively referred to as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai.