Change finally coming for Orlando-area airport after years of name dispute

May 29, 2021

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The score is settled.

After years of ongoing litigation and disputes over the use of “Orlando” in its name, Orlando International Airport (MCO) and the newly renamed Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) have agreed on appropriate naming rights for the Melbourne airport.

It’s official — as announced Friday — the Orlando Melbourne International Airport will be changing its name to Melbourne Orlando International Airport.

While the Melbourne-based airport is a distant 70 miles from the city of Orlando, it’s used “Orlando” in its name since 2008 and references prior to that as a marketing ploy for luring more visitors to the beaches of Florida’s Space Coast.

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Melbourne Orlando Intl Airport (Photo by Walt Simpson/Melbourne Orlando Intl Airport)

In an effort to avoid confusion with the traveling public, both parties agreed on the Melbourne Airport Authority changing all trademarks, branding, identifiers and signage of its airport from Orlando Melbourne International Airport to Melbourne Orlando International Airport.

“Both airports value regionalism and share a common goal of providing world class traveler experiences, and we look forward to a bright future as Melbourne Orlando International Airport, the coastal gateway to Central Florida,” said MLB executive director Greg Donovan, A.A.E.

The Melbourne International Airport began operations in 1928 and changed its name in 2015 to Orlando Melbourne International Airport in order to attract more travelers. But a lawsuit in 2019 issued by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (which operates the Orlando International Airport), claimed that Orlando Melbourne International Airport was misleading passengers into believing they were going to the theme park capital of the world in Orlando instead of the coastal town of Melbourne, Florida.

Today, the airport draws most of its commercial passengers from two airlines: American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, servicing only a few non-stop routes into popular east coast cities such as Atlanta (ATL) and Washington D.C. (DCA). The Melbourne-based airport also serves several dozen of destinations with stops along the way.

Featured image by Walt Simpson/Melbourne Orlando Intl Airport

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