The proposal to honor the late Sen. Hank Coe by naming the Yellowstone Regional Airport terminal after him makes a lot of sense.

Coe served on the YRA board for a number of years and was the driving force behind the Cody-Yellowstone Air Improvement Resources organization, the group which raises money to fund airline service to YRA.

Over the years, Coe was also instrumental in lobbying airline executives for more flights to and from Cody.

In this year’s Wyoming Legislative Session, a bill to name a portion of WYO 120 after Coe was defeated on a 17-12 vote. Several local officials expressed surprise and disappointment that the bill to honor Coe with a road designation failed.

“It floored me,” County Commissioner Chairman Lee Livingston said.

In our opinion there is no question Coe deserves to be honored in some fashion for his years of public service, including leadership in the Wyoming State Senate and on the multiple other boards he served on.

However, we can appreciate the point of view for opposition to naming a road after him. Some legislators expressed concern that naming the road after Coe would set a precedent.

No Wyoming legislature member has ever been given a road designation before and that decision might have opened the door to superfluous designations in the future. 

Hank Coe had a long impressive tenure as a Wyoming public servant, serving in the state senate and on many local boards including the YRA board for years.

It would indeed be fitting and proper to name the terminal at Yellowstone Regional Airport after Coe.

We encourage the YRA board to take that action when they meet next month.


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