May 4th, is the anniversary of the death of Milan Rastislav Štefánik – a Slovak politician and aviator. In 1919, after returning from Italy, he tried to land his Caproni Ca.3 near Bratislava when he crashed and died.

Susan L, a Prague Review reader, wrote: Is it unusual to name an airport after someone who perished in a plane crash, particulary if that crash was at the very airport that now bears their name?

We’d expect to find military airports commemorating their lost pilots. We also weren’t suprised to find a small airport in Kansas named after aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. But how about these airports in major cities, the first being Bratislava…

M. R. Štefánika International Airport (BTS), Bratislava, capital of Slovakia: Milan Rastislav Štefánik was a Slovak politician and aviator. In 1919, after returning from Italy, he tried to land his Caproni Ca.3 near Bratislava when he crashed and died.

 

Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM), Lima, capital of Peru: Jorge Chávez was a Peruvian aviator who died in a plane crash in 1910 when heavy winds broke off the wings of his Bleriot XI.

 

O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago, USA:  Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry O’Hare was an American naval aviator of the United States Navy. He went missing In Nov 1943 while flying a F6F-3 Hellcat against the Japanese.

 

Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport (OPO), Porto, Portugal: Francisco de Sá Carneiro, a Portuguese politician, died in a plane crash in 1980 when his Cessna 421A crashed shortly after take-off from Lisbon Airport on its way to Porto.

 

Will Rogers World Airport (OKC), Oklahoma City, USA: William Penn Adair Rogers was an American stage and film actor. While flying with the famed aviator Wiley Post, their plane crashed into a lake in Alaska.

 

Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport (LYS), Lyon, France: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a French aviator during the second world war. In 1944 he disappeared while on a mission to collect information of German troop movements in the Rhone valley. The wreckage of his plane was later found offshore near Marseille.

 

Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), Manila, capital of the Philippines: Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., was a senator who was assassinated at Manila airport while disembarking a plane. So not actually a plane crash, but interesting enough to include.