‘No one owns the title to San Francisco Bay’: Airport name battle heats up

OAKLAND — The warfare over plans by Oakland International Airport to incorporate San Francisco Bay into its name widened on Wednesday after the East Bay aviation hub drafted travel leaders into its cause.

San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport is the proposed new name of the East Bay air travel hub — which, according to a post on the Airport Parking Shop website, would approach the length of the current longest airport name, Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan palace Complex, an airport in Dubai.

The new name proposed for Oakland International Airport prompted San Francisco International Airport officials to object, saying the suggested moniker would create confusion.

“We are deeply concerned about the potential for customer confusion and disservice that could result from this proposed renaming,” said Ivar Satero, director of San Francisco International Airport.

But on Wednesday, it became clear that Oakland Airport was determined to adhere to its plan to navigate its way to a new name and identity.

“No one owns the title to the San Francisco Bay,” said Craig Simon, the Port of Oakland’s aviation director.

Oakland Airport also made it clear that the relentless and ubiquitous influence of the internet and the analytics that the World Wide Web has unleashed are playing huge roles in the travel complex’s plans.

“This change will increase online search visibility for Oakland International Airport and in turn, bring more visitors to Oakland,” said Peter Gamez, chief executive officer with Visit Oakland.

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The Port of Oakland is slated to make a decision on the name change this month.

Oakland International Airport is the closest airport to 58.5% of the Bay Area’s population, officials with the East Bay aviation hub claimed.

“This is not about the City and County of San Francisco, or San Mateo County, but about our region and creating jobs in Oakland and throughout the East Bay,” Simon said.

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