Dedication and Renaming Ceremony of Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and the City of Toledo will host a virtual dedication and renaming ceremony of Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 22. In-person participation is invitation-only due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The video link to view the live stream of the dedication and renaming ceremony will be available the morning of the event at toledoexpress.com/eugenefkranz/.
“Gene Kranz is a living legend and one of the icons of the American space program. Simply put, without Gene Kranz, there is no moon landing on July 20, 1969,” Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said. “As Mr. Kranz returns to his hometown, I encourage all Toledoans to participate in the re-naming ceremony and cheer our native son. This will be our chance to welcome home a hero and thank him for the inspiring example he has set for generations to come.”
“The Port Authority is honored that Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport is now named after such a world-renowned local icon known throughout the field of space and aeronautics across the globe,” said Thomas Winston, President and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “We are looking forward to officially honoring Mr. Kranz on May 22.”
Mr. Kranz and members of his family are expected to attend the event.
Mr. Kranz was born in Toledo on Aug. 17, 1933, and is a graduate of Central Catholic High School. His interest in space flight developed at a young age and was first recognized when he wrote his high school thesis about the potential of flying a single-stage rocket to the moon. He joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1960 as one of the original Project Mercury assistant flight directors. Throughout his career at NASA, Mr. Kranz was deeply involved in developing the flight control operations for U.S.-operated space flights and contributed many groundbreaking accomplishments that have assisted the development of the space program and our growing knowledge in the field of space and aeronautics. Most notably, he played a crucial role in the Apollo program and acted as the flight director for the first lunar landing, Apollo 11, in 1969. He also served as the flight director for Apollo 13 and played a pivotal role to return the rocket and three astronauts safely to Earth amid an explosion that disabled the spacecraft when it was en route to the moon in 1970. After a long, successful career with NASA, Mr. Kranz retired in 1994.
Mr. Kranz rightfully earned his place in history as one of the handful of individuals responsible for leading some of the nation’s greatest accomplishments in space. He has been recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian award, and has been honored with four Presidential Ranking awards, the highest recognition a U.S. Civil Service employee can receive.
Members of the media who wish to attend are asked to register by emailing Ignazio.Messina@toledo.oh.gov. Media parking will be available on West Airport Road, just to the east of the main terminal entrance.