Oakland Airport considers changing its name


Editor’s note: This story was updated at 2:41 p.m., Aug. 7, to correct that the Port of Oakland is not considering removing “Oakland” from the airport’s name.

The Port of Oakland recently began circulating a survey for public feedback about changing the official name of the Oakland International Airport to something more familiar to travelers outside the Bay Area. 

A survey taker claimed on social media that they were asked about changing the name to the San Francisco East Bay Area International Airport.

The Port said that Oakland will not be removed from the name. “That’s not under consideration,” a spokesperson for the Port told SFGATE. 

The Port owns and operates the airport and is assessing how it can remain competitive within the air travel industry. It found through market research that international and domestic passengers were unfamiliar with Oakland and its relation to San Francisco Bay.

“This imbalance between inbound and outbound demand has resulted in loss of service to OAK, especially long-haul routes to popular destinations in the East Coast and Europe as well as challenges in attracting new service,” the Port wrote in a statement. “The airport is considering many ways to overcome this problem, including a rebrand campaign that may add a geographic identifier in our name to help inbound passengers understand the airport’s proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The airport’s call sign of OAK would remain the same.

Some of those surveyed shared screenshots of the questions on X (formerly Twitter) and on Reddit, including one that asks, “How comfortable would you be with Oakland International Airport changing its name to reflect the Airport’s service area which is defined as the San Francisco East Bay Region, as part of an effort to attract more flights and destinations?”

Feedback from the survey will be used in the Port’s decision-making, and any changes will have to first go before the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners in a public process, the Port of Oakland said.

There have been other efforts to change the Oakland Airport’s name, including a petition in 2018 to rename it the Maggie Gee Oakland International Airport in honor of the pioneering female pilot from the East Bay. 

Passenger traffic at Oakland International Airport has steadily rebounded following the pandemic, with more than 11 million passengers in 2022, almost 37% more than the previous year. 

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