San Francisco Has Beef With Oakland's Airport Name Change

Officials have voted to rename it San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 12, 2024 10:43 AM CDT
San Francisco Might Sue Oakland Over Airport Name
Travelers prepare to enter Oakland International Airport.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Oakland officials have voted in favor of changing the name of the city's airport to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport, despite San Francisco threatening a lawsuit over what it says is a trademark violation. The Board of Commissioners for the Port of Oakland voted unanimously Thursday to approve the name change and scheduled a second reading on the issue for May 9. The airport is currently called Oakland International Airport.

  • Oakland airport officials have said travelers unfamiliar with the region fly into San Francisco's airport even if their destination is closer to the Oakland airport across the Bay, the AP reports. Modifying the name to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport will change that, they say. The airport's three-letter code OAK would not change.

  • "Market research and interviews with airline partners have shown that routes have not performed as well as they should have due to the lack of geographic awareness, making air carriers reluctant to sustain and add new routes in Oakland," said Craig Simon, the Port of Oakland's interim aviation director, in a statement. He said the airport lost 39 of 54 new routes added from July 2008 to March 2024.
  • The name-change plan has horrified San Francisco officials, who say it will confuse travelers, especially those flying in from abroad. Ivar C. Satero, director of San Francisco's airport, had said they are "deeply concerned" over the potential for customer confusion and disservice. San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu on Tuesday threatened to sue Oakland officials if they pursue the name change, arguing it would violate the city's trademark on "San Francisco International Airport."
  • State Sen. Scott Wiener, who represents San Francisco, said on X that the airport shouldn't be "cutting & pasting" San Francisco's name. "I love Oakland, but Oakland is Oakland. It's not San Francisco," he wrote. "Please find another way to turn things around." But other users on X pointed out that San Francisco's airport is actually located in Millbrae, a city in San Mateo County.
(More Oakland stories.)

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