Photo: Phil Smith from Wikimedia Commons.

MIAMI – Today in Aviation, Liverpool Airport (LPL) celebrated John Lennon by receiving his name on July 2, 2001.

The airport had its origins in the suburb of Speke, where the City Council decided to build a small airport, which started scheduled flights in 1930 but officially opened to the public in 1933.

Soon, the air traffic demand went up, so a passenger terminal, a control tower, and two aircraft hangars were built. However, Speke Airport still needed an expansion.

How the Speke Airport looked in its beginnings.
Photo: Liverpool Echo.

From a Small Airfield to a Private Airport


By 1937, authorities leased 70-110 acres of Speke state to the Air Ministry to built improvements to city’s aerodrome.

Managed by manifacturer Rootes Securities, construction work started in the same year. The facility became the shadow factory site as WW II began. Once conflict ended, civil operations flew from the airport again.

By 1961, the city took control over Speke and prepared expansion plans with a southern terminal. 30 years later, the airport was privatized under British Aerospace and became a subsidiary of Peel Holdings.

In 2002, the airport changed its front to officially unveil its new name.

2000 Entry with a New Obeisance Name


Being the home city of the rock band The Beatles, LPL operators decided to pay tribute to one of its members, John Lennon, 21 years after his death.

On July 2, 2001, it was announced that Speke airport would be renamed Liverpool John Lennon Airport. However, the name would be official the following year when aerodrome opened its new terminal.

Until that moment, the honor of renaming places belonged to heads of state, so the former Beatle became the first British personality to recive this obeisance.

‘Above us only sky’ John Lennon Statue at LPL runway hall. Wikimedia Commons.

A Statue at the Airport


To complete the remembrance, local sculptor Tom Murphy created a life-size bronze statue to be placed in the hall of the modern runway. The statue was unveiled by Yoko Ono and Cherie Booth QC on 15th March 2002.

Since that moment, LPL’s new logo would be one of Lennon’s self-portrait drawings while its trapline would read “above us only sky,” a phrase taken from his famous song “Imagine.”