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Duluth airport terminal to be named after Oberstar

The Duluth International Airport terminal in July 2014, while its skywalk link was still under construction. (News Tribune file photo)

It'll be the Duluth International Airport passenger terminal that will carry the name of the late U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar.

Officials at both the Duluth airport and the Range Regional Airport last year offered to name their new passenger terminals after Oberstar to honor his legacy in the transportation industry during his long legislative career.

The new Duluth terminal opened two years ago; the new Range Regional Airport terminal in Hibbing is under construction.

Officials at both airports had been waiting for the decision of the Oberstar family on which — if any — of the terminals would bear his name.

On Friday, the Duluth airport revealed: It'll be Duluth.

"Jim was so proud of this beautiful new terminal and how it symbolized the vibrancy of the aviation sector in Duluth," Duluth Mayor Don Ness said in a statement. "Jim was passionate about creating a strong aviation sector in Duluth, and he played a key role in bringing hundreds of aviation jobs in our region. I'm so pleased that he will be honored in this way. My only regret is that he could not be with us for the celebration."

Oberstar, who represented Northeastern Minnesota in Congress for more than 35 years, died in May at age 79.

The Range Regional Airport, which serves Oberstar's hometown of Chisholm, also will honor Oberstar's work and accomplishments. In what way will be revealed when its new terminal project is completed.

A steering committee comprised of Duluth Airport Authority employees and board members, the Oberstar family, the Duluth mayor's office and area leaders are working on the Duluth airport naming project. It will require private donations for funding, according to a news release from the Duluth airport. Those tax-deductible donations can be mailed to Monaco Air Foundation, 4535 Airport Approach Road, Duluth, MN, 55811.