Update: I received a call from the Managing Director of Canberra Airport


Posted on January 31st, by evecogan in General. 39 comments

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I have had so many people ask me for an update. Rather than answer all my emails one by one, I will tell you all at once. I received the call I have been waiting for. It was from Stephen Byron, the Managing Director of Canberra Airport and while I didn’t get a “yes” yet, it is a start.

Of course I had hoped he would say that he agreed with me and the 3,000 people who supported me. However I have been talking to so many people and have heard so many opinions and I know that renaming an airport is not an easy thing to do. Stephen was really nice and spoke to me for quite some time. He knew of my petition to name his airport “The David Warren Airport” and he knew that Dr Warren had invented the black box and done so much for aviation safety around the world.

Stephen said he didn’t know of my video, but said he will look it up and watch it. This is good news, as I hope he will learn some more about David Warren and how amazing he was and that he was never credited enough.

He said he was still considering my idea and gave me some reasons that concerned him.

The first reason is that it already has a name, “The Canberra Airport” and that Australia does not generally name airports after people. I have already had this argument with my dad who  already had told me that he would not want someone to tell him to rename his software company. I think a small company is very different from an airport that everyone uses. I told Stephen about the “Sydney Airport” and how it has an alternative name “The Kingsford Smith Airport” which gives it a nice personality. For the Sydney Airport both names are used, so the “Canberra Airport” name would not be lost at all.

The second reason Stephen told me, is that Dr David Warren’s Black Box invention, is only spoken about in the event of a crash. He said that there are people that are scared of flying and this will further frighten them.
I think this has been the main reason why David Warren missed receiving more recognition and this is very unfortunate and unfair because flying is safe today, because of him. I am sure there are other famous people that have saved lots of lives and been credited. I will have to research this.

The third reason is that Stephen has already thought about renaming his airport before and decided against it. He had to consider before if he should rename it to “The John Howard Airport” and he decided not to. Stephen agreed that Dr David Warren is a better choice, so that gives me some hope.

Stephen said he agreed with me that David Warren definitely needs more recognition and he is going to contact the other airports of Australia as well as Qantas and Virgin Australia. Right now he is going away for a week and when he comes back he is going to think about it for a few weeks and then give me another call. That will take us to March, so I am going to be thinking of good ideas and praying a lot until then.

I really need some convincing reasons for when I next speak to Stephen Byron and would love your help. If you have ideas, please post them on my facebook page facebook.com/EveCogan.Australia
Or you can email me (evecogan on gmail) if you want to keep it private.

I promise to keep you updated.

Thank you

-Eve

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39 thoughts on “Update: I received a call from the Managing Director of Canberra Airport

  1. Eve,
    As a “Plan B”‘ how about the “David Warren Terminal” at Canberra Airport, or “David Warren Drive” as the road leading to Canberra Airport.
    If all else fails at least David’s name would get some “aviation” recognition.
    Cheers.

    • Hi David

      Thank you for commenting. I have thought about the idea for a terminal and that would be a great step. I just think not many adults take notice of the terminal names. How many airport terminals do you know the name of?

      -Eve

      • Denver International Airport has their Terminal named after Elrey Jeppesen. Jeppesen created the 1st aviation charts for pilots. I think renaming the terminal is a great idea. Another post mentioned a statue. That’s another great idea. There is one of Jeppesen at Denver’s airport as well.

    • Great ideas! The terminal particularly that could have an interactive exhibit. I do admit though that i could only think of JFK’s TWA terminal because I saw it in a design series.

  2. I think it’s a wonderful idea and nice that he called you and will mull it over for consideration. Great outcome , great determination and great optimism.

  3. Eve, you are really a special person – be as proud of yourself as your parents must be. I have told my nieces and friends children about you and your quest, and they agree that you are a great role model yourself. Keep up the good work

  4. Eve,

    I commend your effort and have circulated your petition to friends.

    I do not think Stephen Byron is doing anything unusual in stating his three reasons. If he has even considered a politician that shows the way is open, but the person who is to be honoured should be one who has achieved great things selflessly and in the interests of Australia at the least. Kingsford Smith is the obvious example. Nancy Bird Walton was another. So why Warren. To me it is a good choice and the overriding reason is that we can use his invention to learn things about flying and prevent accidents by knowing what went wrong.

    To give honour to a technical inventor is exactly what we should do in an age when we rely more and more on technology. Furthermore, Warren was one of many individuals whose effort has changed the world – not merely that of Australia. In my work I have met people who have changed the world. Examples are Martin Green and David Mills in their work in solar energy. In other parts of the world they are feted as heroes.

    Australia as a nation does not give enough credit to these devoted people and that’s why our capital city airport should carry David Warren’s name. Never mind “negative” connotations. Its what we learn that matters. To give you something to think about – – “tall poppies” should flourish here as they do elsewhere!

    And lastly. We name landmarks after explorers – Stuart Highway, Hume Highway, Ayers Rock ( as was) and many more. Why not airports?

    Bill

    • Some good points by Bill. There are precedents in Australia, other than Kingsford Smith. A prime example is the airport at Yulara, adjacent to Uluru(Ayers Rock), is named Connellan Airport, after EJ Connellan, who pioneered air mail and air travel in the Northern Territory. As other posters have said, the negative issues around the Flight Data Recorders, are all manageable by the way the message is put out.

      But a very good start and congratulations to you, Eve.

    • This is actually a fantastic argument.

      I have a feeling that Stephen Byron is in favour of renaming the airport after Dr. Warren and is going to spend those weeks in countless meetings to see how others feel about the situation.

      • Dean, you know the slow pace of due process too well…

        On the subject of airports named after people, there is the Wilkins Runway in the Australian portion of Antarctica too… The RAAF and Navy (including some shared civilian airports) regularly name their bases and airports after people.

  5. Eve, you are an inspirational young woman and I am so very proud of you. There have been some excellent suggestions so far and I will put my thinking cap on and see if I can add to them. I wish you every success, Eve. Kind regards, Belinda.

  6. It is interesting that Stephen Byron used the negative aspect of David Warren’s invention as an argument against the renaming of an airport in his honour. The fact that this invention has given grieving people answers to the cause of the accident that has resulted in the death or injury of their loved ones should overwhelm the impact of the negativity. David Warren’s Black Box has also led to financial settlements for victims of such accidents. This does not take into account the improvement in aeronautical safety that is has resulted from the knowledge that the Black Box has contributed.

    I think a fitting compromise would be David Croft’s “Plan B”……but let’ not settle for a compromise at this stage. It is early days, yet.

  7. Hi Eve,

    Regarding Stephen’s second objection, about the black box being used in a crash, you could remind him that the Nobel prize is world renown and respected, but was named after the person who created dynamite.

    Afred Nobel created the Nobel Prize as a bequest in his will because he was disappointed that he might only remembered for how dynamite was used in wars.

    You can find more information on Nobel at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Nobel

    You might want to tell Stephen that renaming the airport would help ensure David Warren was remembered for saving lives, rather than linked to crashes.

    You could also tell him that renaming the airport would make people feel safer because the planes that fly in and out there are safer because of David’s work. He made planes safer by helping to stop them crashing.

    All the best with your campaign – there’s a group of us in Canberra who will now call it the Warren Airport, even if Stephen refuses to rename it.

  8. The good thing is that Mr Byron hasn’t dismissed the idea out of hand. Just because there aren’t many other Australian airports/airfields named after people isn’t much of a reason. In the USA it is very common.

    What is needed is for some politicians, Territory and Federal, to get on board. That is something that is best handled out of the media.

  9. I think your petition is a great idea, keep persisting though! You should probably widen the number of people you contact about this to advance the cause – Minister Albanese is the Minister for Transport, so you could try an open letter to him. Peter Garrett is your local MP, he is also Minister for Childhood & Youth. After all it is an election year. Since it’s Canberra airport try the Chief Minister there, to get the people of Canberra asking for it. And since you mention in your byline that you want to be a 60 Minutes journo, give them a call. If you make the story interesting enough they might take it up.
    I assume you know that Qantas already named a plane after David Warren (their 9th A380).

  10. Well I guess someone (me) has to be the impolite party.

    Stephen Byron is the very type of Australian against whom David Warren battled decades ago: those offended or threatened by change.

    His reasons for opposing the name David Warren Terminal are utter drivel. Auckland International Airport is also known as Jean Batten International Airport which houses the Jean Batten Terminal. I guess Le Guardia and JFK airporta along with John Lennon Airport (Liverpool UK) and George Best airport (Belfast) and Indira Ghandi Airport mean nothing to Mr Byron. Maybe Pierre Trudeau Airport rings a bell with him?

    The argument the Black Box is associated with accidents is true but again utter drivel. The Black Box has saved many millions of lives by identifying cockpit and mechanical/avionics shortfalls the lessons from which we all enjoy including Mr Byron’s relatives some of whom are commercial fixed and rotary wing pilots!

  11. Hi Eve

    Great work, you will succeed if you keep chipping away – your cause is noble and a very worthwhile one; recognition should be given to David Warren for the positive contribution he gave aviation, because of him flying is a much safer form of transport.

    Eve I work for Qantas and as Pete Smith rightly pointed out above, the ninth Qantas Airbus A380 (Rego: VH-OQI) is actually named after David Warren -so Stephen Byron’s argument that people wouldn’t take to kindly to having an airport named after the creator of the Black Box is somewhat of a short sighted argument. Especially after Qantas, a globally recognised airline named an actual ‘aircraft’ after the very same David Warren.

    Also, I fly “Extremely” frequently into Sydney airport mainly from overseas destinations, and 95% of Public Announcements that are made before landing – address Sydney airport as “Sydney Kingsford Smith airport”. In my opinion naming an airport, or other places of significance reminds us, it also draws curiosity to name (people become inquisitive) & through this we honours our countrymen & women. Besides it also gives an airport charter – most other nations do it, why not Australia?

    Lastly, as much as I admire John Howard; David Warren actually helped make the global aviation industry a much safer place – one man (an Australian) contributed more to the world, than a good long serving Prime Minister.

    Anyway I hope this helps, keep up the great work.

    Ed

  12. Hi Eve,
    I think you’re doing a great thing.
    In regards to looking for other people who have saved many lives and been credited – I give you the example of Edward Jenner. He invented vaccination and has thus saved many lives.
    There are many buildings and monuments named after him at hospitals and other locations – see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Jenner#Monuments_and_buildings
    I hope that helps your argument.
    All the best!
    Shauna

  13. Hi Eve,

    I just wanted to congratulate you on your achievements thus far, you have achieved much for one so young, you are not only an inspiration to the younger Australians but also us older ones and I look forward to seeing great things from you in the future.

    My suggestion would be to name the airfield where Canberra Airport is situated ‘Warren Field’ and a memorial garden should be built there commemorating David Warren and his achievements.

    Thank you Eve,

    Michael
    Dimboola

  14. There are a number of airports in Australia and the nearby SW Pacific named after people apart from Kingsford Smith Airport (the international part of the airport, the domestic bit is called Mascot).

    Moorabbin is named after Harry Hawker, then there is Curtin airport in WA, Scherger in QLD, even the airport I work at is Truscott in WA and named after Bluey Truscott, a WW2 Fighter pilot.

    Port Moresby International Airport is named Jackson airport after an Australian WW2 fighter pilot, John Jackson. Honiara in the Solomons is named Henderson Field after a US Serviceman.

    I’ve named a few but there are many, many more “named” airports in the area so I feel that argument doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny. I wonder if Stephen Byron’s arguments are more excuses than serious concerns.

    Don’t give up Eve.

  15. Hi Eve

    I don’t think much of Mr Byron’s first reason. Canberra Airport already has two names. The other is Defence Establishment Fairbairn. There is no particular reason why the airport can’t have a third name as well. As you say, Sydney Airport is also named Kingsford-Smith; it is also commonly named “Mascot”. There’s at least one other airport in Australia named after a person – Harry Riggs Airport in Albany, WA.

    I also don’t think much of Mr Byron’s second reason. One of the names of Canberra Airport already alludes to the dangers of flying – James Fairbairn was a federal government minister who was killed in a plane crash near Canberra in 1940. Charles Kingsford-Smith was similarly killed in a plane crash. John F Kennedy, after whom JFK airport was named, was shot dead, and there’s a swimming pool in Melbourne named after Harold Holt, who drowned. As far as I am aware, David Warren died of old age.

    Mr Byron’s third reason is also unsatisfactory. I actually think that John Howard Airport would have been a good alternative name for Canberra Airport. Harry Riggs was a Mayor of Albany, and that’s why Albany Airport is named after him. John Howard was one of our longest serving Prime Ministers. The two airports in Washington DC are named after Ronald Reagan, who was a President of the USA, and John Foster Dulles, who was a US Secretary of State, respectively. The airport in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is named after Canada’s first Prime Minister and another Canadian statesman. One of the airports in Paris is named after Charles De Gaulle, a President of France. The airport in Brasilia, capital city of Brazil, is named after a former President of Brazil. The two main airports in Buenos Aires, capital city of Argentina, are named after a politician and a pioneering aviator, respectively. So it is actually somewhat anomalous that the airport in our capital city is not named after a politician or aviation industry pioneer.

  16. Hi eve, I think what you are doing is amazing, Have you considered approaching aviation clubs in your area and perhaps seeing if you could speak at one of their meetings about your proposed name change? I’m sure it would get a lot of support. I look forward to seeing you on 60 minutes in years to come.

  17. Eve,
    I commend you on your blog and your objectives, both short term and long. Hopefully the former will be realized before the latter. While I assume that Dr. Warren is Australian and you’d naturally want his eponym there, have you considered possible alternatives elsewhere? I’m sure there are airports or terminals being built or planned around the world that are in need of a suitable name. Call this a plan “C” or “D”.
    Also, you might try contacting the guys who do the “Airplane Geeks” podcast. They may be of some assistance.
    Good luck,
    Steve B.

  18. Wow, what a fantastic development!

    Stephen need not worry, Canberra Airport will always be known as such, even if it is a little boring and uninspired. Some of the most iconic airports in the world are known by their eponymous names and not by their location. Anyone outside of the USA know where JFK Airport is without googling it?

    This is an opportunity for Stephen to drum up some international publicity which I’m sure he would jump at. The blackbox is known world-wide, they could leverage that to simultaneously draw attention to Canberra Airport and David Warren. I can see feature stories in trade magazines from Temora to Timbuktu!

    In 2006 Belgrade renamed their international airport in honour of another brilliant inventor who had also lacked the recognition he deserved – Nicola Tesla. His inventions literally paved the way for the Second Industrial Revolution and modern life owes a great deal to his selflessness and inventiveness.

    Likewise the blackbox has made an immeasurable contribution to airline safety. Far from being a disincentive for nervous flyers it would be encouraging and inspiring to know that it was a fellow Australian who not only invented it, but pushed the idea against much resistance.

    The John Howard Airport?! They only rejected that idea once they had stopped laughing. While he was Prime Minister for a considerable period of time he was hardly up there with John F Kennedy in terms of inspirational leaders!

    Australians have a much greater affinity with the underdogs, the battlers, and John Howard could never be seen in that light. It’s people like David Warren who we relate to, someone who fights against the establishment to champion an altruistic cause.

    Keep fighting, Eve!

  19. Eve, I’m so glad to hear of this update on your quest to bring more recognition to Dr. Warren.

    While I think that Stephen Byron’s second reason mentioned for not renaming the Canberra airport holds a lot of poignant plausibility that I hadn’t thought of before, I want to strongly argue his first reason.

    I am from the United States of America (which is just one of the many reasons why Eve’s passionate stance appeals to me so much) and where I’m from, almost all of the airports I can think of off the top of my head have not one, but TWO common names.

    In my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee we have the Knoxville Airport, also known as McGhee Tyson Airport. The airport was named after a man named Charles Tyson McGhee who was a pilot killed in action in World War 1. Another, popular, example of the multiple naming we accredit to our airports in the States is the famous O’Hare International Airport. Also known as “O’Hare Airport”, “O’Hare Field”, “Chicago Airport”, “Chicago International Airport”, or just “O’Hare”. This airport is named after a man named Edward O’Hare who received the acclaimed Medal of Honor in World War 2.

    As you can see, where I’m from, we take great pride in double naming our Airports for those who most deserve it. Yes, Dr. Warren’s invention can be associated with airplane crashes, but such an integral invention in the world of aviation as that should not go unrewarded in my opinion.

    I think what Eve Cogan is doing is absolutely commendable and am not in the least bit surprised that numerous, famous airline pilots have rallied in support behind her. You have my full support, Eve. KEEP IT UP!

    -Brooke Rooney

  20. Great to see that things are starting to step up another level and glad to see that you keep him honest ;)

    1) I do see his point about the sole name being changed to a person, but I think the idea of the airport having a second name like Sydney is a great idea.\! Personally I think that the Black Box is one of the greatest inventions in Civil Aviation and the fact that Australia’s national airport could share his name seems like a very high honour for us as Australians.

    2) Unfortunately I’m afraid to say I think this is a very weak argument on his part. I think that is people know the second name of the airport and know that Dr David Warren invented the black box, I would have thought they would feel assured rather than scared. In any of the flying I’ve ever done, I’ve never not flown to a place because of one of the names the airport had.

    3) Totally agree that David Warren is a much better choice than John Howard. Whether you liked or didn’t like John, I think you would agree that an airport being named after someone who is as important as David Warren is to aviation history is obvious.

    Keep up the great work and hopefully we can get even more people talking about this.

  21. I have a quick comment regarding reason number two. This is so typical of us humans, we try to ignore reality and facts, to make our lifes a little more comforting. People who are scared of flying, need to learn more about facts and reality. They are more likely to get killed in so many other instances, flying in this modern age is very safe, and I think it’s a great idea to name the airport after Darren Warren, as a testament to our ability to overcome tragedies and use facts and knowledge to improve upon the safety and quality of life for all humans. Keep up the good work and don’t give up :-D Hi from Norway!

  22. It really is a worthy cause and while in Oz it is not common for an airport to be named after people, in South Africa (where I am) is is VERY common. Everyone understands that OR Tambo Airport is the same as Johannesburg airport or King Shaka Airport is the same as Durban airport – so I don’t see a downside to having both.

    Plus if you fly into King Shaka airport you maybe encouraged to learn more about the amazing man and what he did, and then you may want to see those areas he was in – in all it starts with a name, then leads to education and finally tourism.

  23. Hi Eve,

    Speaking all the way from Brazil, I don’t think the three reasons are strong enough… your idea is.
    Only here in Brazil I can list at least 3 major airports that are named after important personalities from my country. “Juscelino Kubitchek” in Brasília, “Santos Dummond” in Rio and “Salgado Filho” in Porto Alegre. The last two are directly related to aviation. You can find more about them in Google.
    I’ve traveled a lot and I feel that many other countries also name airports and major buildings after people who have made a difference in the world. David Warren is certainly one of them.

    Good luck!

  24. Hi Eve – on Stephen’s second reason … on the surface maybe the black box could be associated with crashes but really the black box has actually made flying safer … if you had no means of recording what happened on a flight it would be much more dangerous … well anyway that’s what I think

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  27. Hi Eve,

    I’m proud that I had a chance to meet you last summer when I was in Australia. You’re very talented and passionate in what you’re doing, so just keep going on. I believe that David Warren contributed a lot to the world as is today and deserves the highest award.

    Recently I read a post from CNBC that US government wants a Black Box in every car in the future. This only proves what a great invention Black Box is and I believe David Warren should be given more credits and recognition around the world. Naming an airport after him is really a great idea and I believe it won’t having any negative impact. He should be described as “the man who made flying safe”. I can’t imagine visiting Australia if flying wasn’t that safe. A glass can be half empty or half full. It’s up to us how we see it thus just keep going on and pour some water to the glass of mr. Stephen Byron.

    Good luck!

  28. Hey Eve its Andi,

    I am just saying well done. You have expanded your thoughts from S.K Austin.

    And I KNOW how hard it was and how much you didn’t want to do it anymore but good work.

  29. Hello Eve,
    I am very impressed by the quality and depth of your argument and by the discipline you displayed in completing it.
    I hope your excellent idea is adopted.
    You are a talented young lady;keep up the good work and you will go a long way.
    Regards,
    Selwyn Garwell

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