Ike airport idea started with Eagle reader, former columnist

airportnewJan Harrison and Phil Thompson of KFXJ, 104.5 FM “the Fox,” deserve credit for the petition drive to rename Wichita’s airport after President Eisenhower as the new terminal opens, which led to Tuesday’s City Council decision. Harrison also spent many hours gathering information and talking to city officials and others about the proposal. But it’s worth recalling that the idea started with a September 2004 column in The Eagle by Mark McCormick headlined, “If Wichita’s airport is renamed, we like Ike.” McCormick, then an Eagle columnist and now the executive director of the Kansas African American Museum in Wichita, was championing a suggestion made to him by reader Luke Yakel, who said he’d thought of it during an earlier visit to the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene. On Wednesday, Yakel told The Eagle editorial board he thought it was a great idea and that the timing was right: “I think in the long run it’s going to really pay off, and it’s going to make Wichita, Kan., stand out. It needs a shot in the arm.”