“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” The famous quote from
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet seems to put more emphasis on the essence of the
rose than its name. That wasn’t the case at last week’s Inyo County Board of Supervisors
meeting discussion on an appropriate name for the airport in Bishop.
The facility, now in its first year of official, regular air service, doesn’t even have a distinctive
existence on the Internet. Google “airport in Bishop, California,” and you end up with a blurb
for the Eastern Sierra Regional Airport, with a BIH code, on the right side of the page. Then
there’s an ad for the Travelodge in Bishop. The next official listing is for the
Mammoth/Yosemite Airport. This is not good.
Two years ago, a group petitioned Inyo County to name the facility Bishop-Dave McCoy Airport
after Mammoth Mountain’s founder as an acknowledgement of his impact on both Bishop and
the Eastern Sierra. McCoy lived in Bishop and many of his family members still do. McCoy
championed the Bishop Airport and contributed much to the town, including building, then
donating, a large hangar that currently houses Sierra Life Flight. He passed away in early 2020,
leaving behind the legacy of Mammoth Mountain. The meeting agenda package included seven
letters in support of re-naming the airport after McCoy.
Requests for the name change were submitted to the Northern Inyo Airport Advisory
Committee in 2020. The timing was bad as COVID-19 restrictions had to be defined and the
disruptions from the pandemic dealt with. At a recent meeting, the committee opted to go with
Public comment supported the Bishop-Dave McCoy name. A granddaughter of the Inyo
pioneering Partridge family suggested naming the airport after Partridge.
Supervisor Matt Kingsley, whose District 5 is the southernmost area of Inyo, expressed a
relatively common Inyo attitude toward Mammoth, noting the impact of weekend ski traffic
through the Owens Valley. The flip side: how many Inyo residents were first introduced to the
Owens Valley on a trip from Los Angeles to Mammoth Mountain? Emerging from the endless LA suburbs on Hwy. 14 to views of the Owens Lake and the Inyo Mountains is a little like dying and going to heaven.
Following a brief discussion that included other ways to acknowledge those who contributed to
the development of the airport, the Supervisors directed staff to reach out to Bishop,
Mammoth Lakes, tribal communities and the Bishop Chamber for input and take another look
at the airport’s name in September. The Bishop City Council will likely have the airport name at
its September 20 agenda.
So Inyo-Mono county airport then. ‘Eastern Sierra Regional Airport’ could include Lake Tahoe, Topaz Lake, Alpine County, Carson City, Reno, and everybody from Susanville to Ridgecrest.
How about ‘Inyo County Regional Airport’? That way it includes everybody in the whole county.
Why not Eastern Sierra Regional Airport, since that’s actually regional, and Mammoth is subsidizing the whole enterprise?
Dave McCoy was a great man and he did do some stuff for the local Bishop area, but there’s far more influential HISTORIC figures that deserve recognition. Why not name the Mammoth Lakes Airport after him and name the founder of the Bishop airport after them?
Leave it to Supervisor Kingsley to show his disdain for reality and ignorance of Inyo County’s economy. He’s opposed to naming the airport to honor Dave McCoy because skiers and snowboarders hurriedly drive through Lone Pine? That’s all he’s got? Stay on the green runs Matt. You are a bitter,… Read more »
Shouldn’t be that hard. What’s wrong with bishop regional airport
First and foremost, reach out to the Tribe. Ask if the Tribe is interested in naming it. Makes sense before moving forward????
Don’t let the tribes comment, they will say the airport belongs to them and unless they get all the cash receipts and can put in a casino for their profit its a no go. Really, I don’t understand why the Tribes have input. They are sovereign nations with tons of… Read more »
Ask Apparent Ignorance Who the hell has tons of land in this county besides federal and state government? Settlers took the land from the tribes and then stole it from each other while rushing to sell to Los Angeles in Owens Valley. Then the local banks stole the sales money… Read more »
I disagree Pedro, It’s time for the tribe to assimilate into society’s diversity or die off like the dinosaurs. I personally owe them nothing for what happened in the past. They deserve the same respect and opportunity as everyone else who is LEGALLY in the Country.
Ask a parent…..Wow! Really? First of all….. the Tribes should have input because this is their homelands and they have inhabited the Owens Valley for several thousand years. If you don’t agree with my suggestion, simply move on. No need for rude, racist, uneducated remarks. Tribal government is complicated to… Read more »
I’m all for the name being Bishop-McCoy Airport. I grew up with the McCoys and they have always promoted and improved Bishop, Mammoth Mountain and every mile in between.
Dave McCoy is legend here. The name would be appropriate and well deserved.