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Letter: SLC’s new airport should be named after Larry Lee

Passengers pick up their bags at baggage claim at the new Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. The airport’s parking garage, terminal and the west portion of Concourse A are now open.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

I have heard that the city is considering naming the new airport after Jake Garn. Although I admire all the things Jake has done for the state of Utah (mayor of SLC, senator, one-time astronaut), I have a better suggestion.

Name the airport after Larry Lee, former CEO of Western Airlines. You may ask what is the significance of Larry Lee? Western Airlines began the first passenger service between LAX and SLC in April of 1926. Western was the most significant carrier in and out of Salt Lake City until it was bought by Delta in 1986. Significantly under Larry Lee, Western created the first hub operation (SLC) in the United States in 1981.

Delta, the successor to Western, has significantly increased SLC’s visibility around the world. Politicians don’t create airports; airlines do.

Please consider Larry Lee, the father of hub operations, as the name for the new airport. It is a fitting recognition of what Western/Delta have contributed to the economy of Utah.

Frank Overfelt

Cottonwood Heights