The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) has begun the process of changing the name of its airport honoring the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great as a goodwill gesture to Greece.
Turkish consortium TAV, which operates Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, started removing the 3-meter-long (9.8 feet) letters spelling out the name from the terminal Saturday.
The airport’s new name will be Skopje International Airport. It was called Skopje Airport before FYROM’s previous government named it for Alexander in 2006.
FYROM and Greece are working to resolve a 25-year dispute over the name.
Greece argues that FYROM’s use of it when it gained independence in 1991 implies territorial claims to its Macedonia province, where Alexander was born.
The current government also plans to change the name of a highway bearing Alexander’s name to Prijatelstvo, meaning “friendship.” [AP]