The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved renaming the Bengaluru International Airport after Kempe Gowda, the city’s founder.

Chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, it cleared the proposal mooted by the Karnataka Government.

The State Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council had passed unanimous resolutions seeking renaming of the airport last year.

Announcing the decision, an official press release noted that the airport, commissioned in 2008 and built over an area of 4,000 acres, is the fifth busiest in the country.

It is owned and operated by a consortium — Bangalore International Airport Private Ltd., in which the Airports Authority of India, KSSIDC, an entity of the Karnataka government, and GVK Group, Siemens and Zurich Airport are the share-holders.

The decision brings to an end a controversy over whose name should be given to the airport.

Several organisations had urged that instead of Kempe Gowda, it should be named after social reformer Basaveshwara, while many others wanted it to be named after Sir M. Visvesvaraya.

There were also demands for naming the airport after Tipu Sultan on the ground that the ruler was born at Devanahalli, where the airport is located.

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