THE battle to rename Murcia’s international airport at Corvera in honour of a local air pioneer has taken a new turn.

The region’s Governing Council, led by President Fernando Lopez Miras, approved on Thursday the new name of Murcia-Juan de la Cierva.

The body said it would be an appropriate tribute to the ‘legacy and figure that the Murcian inventor deserves’.

It added it will use the name irrespective of what the government in Madrid thinks.

The national government last year suspended plans for Corvera airport to use his name- two years after approval was granted.

Juan De La Cierva
DE LA CIERVA

De la Cierva was alleged to have chartered a plane for General Franco in the thirties, which he used to travel from Tenerife to Morocco, where he planned what became the start of the Civil War.

Relatives claimed that De la Cierva had no idea of what Franco was up to.

They added the inventor played no part at all in the subsequent conflict.

There is no documented evidence that the two men ever met.

A submission from a historian to the national government last year saw them reverse their approval for the name change over allegations that De la Cierva had fascist connections.

Murcia’s regional government say they have evidence from two historians to back up the rationale for renaming Corvera airport after the investor which refute accusations made in 2021.

De la Cierva, born in Murcia City in 1895, invented an early version of the helicopter, known as the gyrocopter in the early twenties.

He met his end ironically in a plane crash, as fog caused a flight from Croydon to Amsterdam to hit a Croydon area house in December 1936.

De la Cierva was the first person to call for the construction of a commercial airport in Murcia in April 1935.

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