GREENSBORO, N.C. – On January 1, 2018, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority will change the name of the Piedmont Triad International Airport to the Central North Carolina International Airport.
One man is trying to stop this from happening with a simple click.
Nicky Smith, a local small business owner and resident, started an online petition on Change.org to stop the renaming to CNCIA.
“It started on Thursday night last week and remarkably within, literally, less than a few hours there were a couple hundred names on there,” Smith said during an interview.
Now the petition has nearly 3,000 signatures and Smith believes that after the holidays it will reach many more.
“I wholly expect we will have tens of thousands of people sign this petition,” he said.
When asked why he believes the name shouldn’t be changed, Smith said he just doesn’t see a reason for it.
“It doesn’t represent who we are in the Piedmont Triad,” he added.
On his petition, Smith points out his reasons to not change PTI’s name. Among them, the idea that “Central North Carolina International Airport does not represent the airport or its geographic location.”
On January 11, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority released a statement regarding the airport name change in response to the public's reaction to it as they begin the rebranding process.
They emphasized that "during this phase of the process, the Authority is open to alternative suggestions that support a geographical identity for the airport."
Smith says, “When you take a pointer and point it to the center of the state, you come up with cities like Siler City or other little towns I found,” Smith said. “It’s actually closer to the Research Triangle Park area than it is the Piedmont Triad area.”
In previous a statement, Kevin Baker, Executive Director of PTI, said the renaming of the airport is to make the area more globally appealing.
Baker mentioned that people a few hundred miles away from here don’t know what the Piedmont Triad is.
We reached out PTI officials on their response to the petition a day after the Christmas holiday and were unable to reach them at the time until the Authority released their most recent statement in January.
The Authority ended its press release saying, "[it] recognizes the public also has strong opinions on the airport’s name. The Authority appreciates the public response and will consider public input as we move forward with the help of professionals during the branding process."
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