SFO Opposes Oakland Airport’s Plan to Rebrand as ‘San Francisco,’ Citing Potential Confusion for Public

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 02, 2024 03:30 AM EDT


(Photo : T.H. Chia on Unsplash)

Concerns over Oakland International Airport potentially incorporating "San Francisco" into its name have now reached San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

The Port of Oakland, which is in charge of the Oakland airport, proposed a name change to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport last Friday, March 29. Its current name is Metropolitan Oakland International Airport.

Oakland Airport Proposes Name Change

On April 11, the Port Commission is scheduled to meet and likely vote on the rebranding. According to Barbara Leslie, the commission president, "It is the perfect way to identify geographically where the city of Oakland is."

Although the Oakland Port Commission will have the last word, KTVU Fox 2 reported that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors said it intends to hold a vote on Tuesday, April 2, against renaming the Oakland airport.

Meanwhile, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao is also pleased with the decision to add "San Francisco" to the name of the city's airport. In a written statement released on Friday, she said that the change was made to encourage visitors to explore everything that Oakland and the region has to offer.

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SFO Strongly Opposes the Plan, Worrying About Customer Confusion

San Francisco International Airport has used the name "San Francisco" for over a century, even though it is situated in San Bruno. The airport weighed in on Oakland's name change and voiced its concerns about possible confusion among visitors.

"SFO has operated since 1927 and has used the name 'San Francisco Airport' or 'San Francisco International Airport' for most of its history, making it immediately recognizable to customers," the airport said in a press release on Monday, April 1. "Given this history, we anticipate the new name being considered by the Metropolitan Oakland International Airport will cause confusion for the public, either through a misunderstanding of its physical location or its perceived relationship to SFO."

Sen. Scott Wiener joined the chorus of critics on social media X. He wrote: "I love Oakland, but Oakland is Oakland. It's not San Francisco. Oakland's airport should not be cutting & pasting San Francisco International Airport into its name. Please find another way to turn things around."

The Port of Oakland acknowledged that the news has sparked different viewpoints but emphasized that the proposed name change will benefit both the port and Oakland.

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