The Spanish government has rejected a request by its regional counterpart to rename Corvera Airport Murcia after Juan de la Cierva.
The Murcia-born pilot and civil and aeronautical engineer is best-known as the inventor in 1920 of a single-rotor aircraft called the “autogiro” (later known as the “autogyro” in English).
The centre-left coalition in power in Madrid rejected the proposal (by Murcia’s right-wing controlled regional parliament) on the basis that it contravenes a 2007 Historical Memory Law “which aims to avoid any exaltation of the military uprising, Civil War and repression by the Franco dictatorship”.
The national ministry for transport and mobility referred to a report by Professor Ángel Viñas, “which confirms aviator and engineer Juan de la Cierva’s participation in the preparation of the attempted coup d’état of 18 July 1936”.
In response, the regional government said it rejected “a strictly ideological decision” that prevented it from honouring “one of Murcia’s most internationally renowned citizens”. The proposed new name was “Aeropuerto Internacional de la Región de Murcia-Juan de la Cierva y Codorníu”.
A less-controversial proposal to change the name of Alicante-Elche Airport was approved last November and officially designated in May.
Photo credit: Ricardo Martín, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons