Calling all Parrot Heads: There is a petition floating around to rename Key West International Airport (KEYW) in honor of Jimmy Buffett. Buffett, a well-known musician, aviator, author, and activist, died on the evening of September 1, 2023, surrounded by family, friends, music, and dogs. He was 76.
Buffett began his music career in Nashville but eventually migrated to the Florida Keys. The island lifestyle fueled his music, and symbiotically, the money from the music paid for his flying lessons. He owned and flew several aircraft, including Falcons for touring and amphibious aircraft for hopping around the Keys. His most recognizable aircraft was a Grumman Albatross, the Hemisphere Dancer, which was a much-anticipated visitor to airshows such as Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo and EAA AirVenture.
Buffett’s music was as much a part of aviation events as sharing stories of his first solo.
The petition to rename Key West Airport in honor of Buffett surfaced on September 4 and, in a single day, gained close to 4,000 signatures.
Buffett would not be the only celebrity to lend his name to an airport. There is John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California (KSNA), and Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California (KBUR).
Plane & Pilot reached out to the airport sponsor, but requests for information were not answered by the close of business Wednesday.