NEWINGTON -- The Pease Development Authority yesterday tabled for one month a decision on a proposed marketing plan, keeping alive a move to change the name of Pease International Airport to Portsmouth International Airport.
"We should have considered the name change more strongly," said PDA member and Portsmouth City Manager John Bohenko.
In addition to Bohenko, it appeared at least two other people on the seven-member PDA board of directors would consider a name change.
Bohenko also voiced support for changing the name of the port, now called the Pease Development Authority Division of Ports and Harbors, to include the use of Portsmouth, which would require legislative approval.
Efforts to change the airport's name comes on the heels of this week's decision by the Manchester Board of Mayor and Alderman to change the name of Manchester Airport to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and yesterday's published reports that the Worcester, Mass., airport might also change its name to reflect its proximity to Boston.
Aviation tenants at Pease contend changing the name to Portsmouth International Airport would provide potential travelers with a well-known destination designation, resulting in increased air traffic. However, supporters of the name change did not say how more travelers would be attracted to the Pease facility, which last year handled 5,800 passengers. Two carriers serve Pease: Pan Am and Allegiant Air.
"If you call the airport a geographical name, it can save millions of marketing dollars. Conversely, if you call the airport an unknown non-geographical name, be prepared to spend millions of marketing dollars," said Robert Jesurum, president of Port City Air, a Pease-based fixed-base operator.
Referring to the Manchester decision, Jesurum added, "Manchester clearly believes it (the name) is all about location."
"The aviation world drives itself by identifying the location. ... Using the name Portsmouth tells airline representatives exactly where you are located," said Don Delande of Seacoast Cargo, another Pease-based aviation tenant. "Location is what drives your identity."
Several board members questioned the need to change the airport's name, noting dozens of airports do not include cities or towns in their titles and those facilities still manage to attract millions of travelers.
The overall marketing strategy, dubbed a "branding" proposal, was developed by Bresette & Company, a Portsmouth-based public relations and marketing firm.
The Bresette proposal includes development of an umbrella brand -- "Pease International ... Taking You There" -- and design of a logo common to the Tradeport, the Division of Ports and Harbors, the golf course and the airport.
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