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Airport changes name after years of fighting over ‘Orlando’

The Melbourne Airport Authority announced the Space Coast airport’s new name Friday.
A Southwest Airlines flight takeoffs at Orlando International Airport,  Thursday, April 15, 2021.
A Southwest Airlines flight takeoffs at Orlando International Airport, Thursday, April 15, 2021.
Published May 29
Updated May 29

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — After years of fighting and litigation over who can include “Orlando” in the name of their central Florida airport, Orlando International Airport officials and Orlando Melbourne International Airport officials have tentatively agreed that Orlando Melbourne International Airport will change its name to Melbourne Orlando International Airport.

The Melbourne Airport Authority announced the Space Coast airport’s new name Friday. The name change was legally agreed upon to everyone’s mutual satisfaction in a consent and license agreement, officials said. It must be approved by both airport boards.

The newly renamed Melbourne Orlando International Airport is about 70 miles southeast of Orlando International Airport, which is the busiest airport in Florida.

The Melbourne International Airport began operations in 1928 and changed its name in 2015 to Orlando Melbourne International Airport in an effort to attract more travelers. Officials with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which operates the Orlando International Airport, took issue with the new name of the Orlando Melbourne International Airport and eventually filed a federal lawsuit in 2019. The lawsuit claimed the Orlando Melbourne International Airport was misleading passengers into believing they were going to the theme park mecca in the middle of the state instead of Florida’s Atlantic coast.