The Monroe County Legislature unanimously voted to approve the renaming of the Greater Rochester International Airport after local abolitionist Frederick Douglass on Tuesday. The new name of the airport will be the “Frederick Douglass – Greater Rochester International Airport.”
The bi-partisan legislation gained momentum following a Change.org petition that gained nearly 5,000 signatures. The legislation was submitted by Democratic Minority Leader Vincent R. Felder (D- Rochester) and Legislator Karla F. Boyce (R- Mendon).
“I got very emotional when I heard the news,” said Nettie Washington Douglass, great-great-granddaughter of Frederick Douglass. “This is an incredible honor for the Douglass family which includes all of the residents of Rochester, New York. Thanks to everyone who made this possible including Richard Glaser, who started the name change petition, and the Monroe County Legislature. I can’t wait to hear the captain say, ‘Welcome to Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport!’”
"I hope that. in addition to a formal name change, we also sort of recognize the great diversity and history of our community," said petition organizer Richard Glaser.
The airport will see its first name change since 1987.