15 April, 2024

Oakland International Airport OAK to change its name to become 'San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport.

'Allow more travellers to experience the sunnier side of the SF Bay Area' 

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors have endorsed changing the Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (OAK) name to the 'San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport.'

On April 11, 2024, the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners also voted unanimously to modify the airport's name.  Danny Wan, the Port of Oakland’s Executive Director, said, “Every day, hundreds of travellers drive from the East Bay to SFO, passing OAK because they can’t get the flight they need. For the economic health of the region, this must change.” He added, “Our renaming will make travel easier for thousands of people and help grow the local economy.”

Modifying the airport’s name is said to be part of a broader effort to improve the passenger experience at OAK, which includes upgrading the Terminal 1 check-in lobby and restroom facilities and providing new local concessions and restaurants.

Once the Port Commission has given final approval on May 9, 2024 for the name modification, staff will move forward with the formal renaming, including working with air carriers, other airports, and local agencies to reflect the modification in airport and airline systems. The airport code OAK and visual brand will remain the same.

According to the airport, a number of local groups and organizations have supported the name change, including:
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce
Oakland African-American Chamber of Commerce
Oakland Latino Chamber of Commerce
Hegenberger Corridor Owners & Operators
Visit Oakland
Visit Tri-Valley
Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group
Visit Berkeley
Visit Walnut Creek
East Bay Economic Development Alliance
Ridgemont Hospitality

There is no guarantee a name change will encourage more airlines to start new routes to or from Oakland, nor will it change the geographical location of the airport, so it remains to be seen on how much impact the name change will have on the wider aviation industry. Local media are estimating the cost of adding San Francisco Bay to existing signs or replacements and changing the name on stationery will be approximately $2.4 million.  

Port Commission President Barbara Leslie said, "We are standing up for Oakland and the East Bay; this will boost inbound travellers’ geographic awareness of the airport by highlighting the airport’s location on the San Francisco Bay.” She also said, “This name will make it clear that OAK is the closest major airport, for 4.1 million people, three national laboratories, the top public university in the country, and California’s Wine Country."

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