The public is to be consulted on plans to rebrand Inverness Airport as “Loch Ness Airport”.
Bosses there have launched a Twitter consultation to gauge support for the proposal. They are asking: “Should we change our name to Inverness Loch Ness Airport?”
As of yesterday evening, around 400 votes had been cast with a large majority against the move.
The controversial name change suggestion has previously been mooted by local business and tourism chiefs.
Willie Cameron, business development director for Cobbs Group, said he is “100 per cent behind” the name change and believes now is the right time for it, particularly given the growing market for travel in Scotland from the Far East.
He said most bookings are done through smartphone and tablet devices and tourists will have a greater appreciation of the Loch Ness name, with a rebranding working better for search engine optimisation.
Mr Cameron said: “I think the team at Inverness Airport is doing a great job by working hard to get more flights in there. They are also going to get the new train station coming in there as part of the future plans.
“I would say expand the airport and runway.
“If it turns out that the public want them to change the name, it will enhance the number of international carriers coming into the airport.”
He added that the Inverness name change was just as plausible as Liverpool changing its name to John Lennon Airport, which is iconic for that area.
Stewart Nicol, Inverness Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said that his team have promoted the idea in the past, adding: “A name change immediately identifies the airport with one of the biggest draws to the region for tourism. Loch Ness is iconic across the globe.”
A Highlands and Islands Airport Ltd spokesman said: “The idea of including Loch Ness in the name of Inverness Airport has been raised in the past and we thought it would be interesting to gauge the response from the public.
“As yet there are no plans to take the idea further.”
It is understood that the idea would only be taken further through major backing from several tourism agencies, including the likes of VisitScotland.