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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 12:21 GMT
Airport name 'will cause confusion'
By Brady Haran
BBC News Online, East Midlands

Nottingham Airport
Nottingham Airport is used by popstars
The operator of Nottingham Airport has expressed concern about the re-naming of East Midlands Airport, fearing aviators will become confused.

East Midlands Airport (EMA) announced on Tuesday it would be changing its name to Nottingham East Midlands Airport with immediate effect.

This was despite the fact the international airport is based in Leicestershire and the closest city is Derby.

However, Nottingham Airport, a far smaller general aviation airport based at Tollerton, says it will seek legal advice about whether EMA can use the word "Nottingham".

Air traffic operator at Nottingham Airport, Dave Tower, said "aviators could become confused about who to call and what radio frequencies to use".

Nottingham Airport caters to smaller planes
However he stressed the confusion would probably be confined to general aviators in small planes, not large commercial airliners.

A spokeswoman for EMA said confusion was unlikely because none of the airport's official codes would be changed, such as its code of EMA used by the International Air Transport Association.

She said: "Operationally, we don't think it will be any more of a problem than it was before the name change."

Mr Tower was also worried the new name would heighten public confusion and Nottingham Airport would be inundated with queries intended for the larger EMA.

Pop groups visiting Nottingham for gigs use us because they can get to the city in 10 minutes
Dave Tower

Before the name change, Nottingham Airport was already receiving "about half a dozen calls a day" intended for EMA, Mr Tower said.

He said: "We are taking legal advice on the matter, that's all I can say about that."

Nottingham Airport handles mainly training flights and general aviators, peaking at about 100 aircraft movements a day in summer.

'City's airport'

By contrast, East Midlands Airport handles millions of passengers a year and boats it is "the biggest 'pure cargo' airport" in the UK.

However Mr Tower said Nottingham Airport had every right to claim the name as the city's airport.

"East Midlands Airport is in Leicestershire and is probably 15 miles from Nottingham... we are three miles away.

"Pop groups visiting Nottingham for gigs use us because they can get to the city in 10 minutes."

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