What’s In a Name? A Lot, It Seems

The Port of Oakland last week announced it is considering modifying the name of the Metropolitan Oakland International Airport to the San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport. The Port, which operates the airport, says the change will better reflect its role as a regional travel destination and will help attract more flights and visitors.

As you might expect, the plan was not well received by another airport across the Bay whose name includes several of the same words. The Bay Area Council counts both airports as valuable members and we don’t have any formal position on the proposed name change, which is scheduled to go before the Port Commission on April 11 for a vote. Both airports make immense economic contributions to the region and are extremely important in connecting the Bay Area to the world.

Beyond any disagreement over the name change, the proposal does resurface an idea the Council pitched many years ago to combine or integrate our major airports into a regional system. Such an approach, similar to our work to better integrate our balkanized transportation and transit systems, could produce great benefits for airports, visitors and travelers and our economy overall.

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