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Originally published Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

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Little Rock airport renamed for Clintons

Little Rock National Airport is now Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to change the name of the Little Rock National Airport in honor of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"I'm pleased with the action today and the airport will immediately now operate under the name of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport," said Commission Chairman Jim Dailey.

Dailey said the change would take effect after the Federal Aviation Administration signs off on the new name. But minutes after the meeting let out, receptionists at the airport were welcoming callers to the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

"Hillary and I are humbled by the Little Rock Airport Commission's decision this morning," said former President Bill Clinton in a statement. "We are grateful for this honor and for all that the people of Arkansas have done for us. And we look forward to many happy landings at the airport in the years ahead."

The airport, founded in 1917, serves about 2.2 million passengers a year. The renaming coincides with a $67 million construction project for airport improvements started last year.

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