By Carlos Correa

STOCKTON (CBS13) — The Stockton Metropolitan Airport is one step closer to making a huge change that would impact hundreds of thousands of passengers and flights coming in and out of the region.

The county aviation advisory committee unanimously approved to change the airport’s name to the San Francisco-Stockton Regional Airport, but it’s up to the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors to make the final decision.

In an effort to build on its continued growth over the last few years, the Stockton Metropolitan Airport is working to change its name to the San Francisco-Stockton Regional Airport – and not everyone is happy about it.

“Well, I actually think it should stay Stockton Metropolitan Airport because we’re in Stockton, we’re about 90 miles away from San Francisco. So, it really doesn’t make sense,” said passenger Mike Hartung.

The airport began operating in Stockton in 1927. It currently provides air-passenger and corporate-air traffic, while it’s air cargo service supports the county’s fast-growing distribution and fulfillment centers.

Airport officials say Stockton belongs to the combined statistical area of the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland region and revising the name to reflect that is a logical choice.

“When you identify with a major regional city, or event, or location, it really helps people understand immediately where you are and when we meet with airlines trying to add service, it’s very important that they know up front where we are because a lot of times we get asked, well where is Stockton?” said airport director, Harry Mavrogenes.

Business leaders say the practice of modifying an airport’s name to include a nearby well-known city or region is common and has great potential for benefitting everyone across the region.

“A successful business and its name gets out there, and it has a big impact, and their airport is successful as it was before air regulation, it should certainly help the whole area proposer,” said Douglass Wilhoit, chief executive officer, Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce.

Airport officials say keeping Stockton in the name will observe the city’s rich history while adding San Francisco to it will provide a vision for the future.

“I think you will probably get a lot more business especially coming from the Bay Area, their name will pop a little bit more,” said passenger Justin Mullaney.

Since the first of the year, several airports have changed names to reflect their location, including Atlanta Speedway Airport, Hollywood Burbank Airport, and St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

The board of supervisors is expected to vote on the new name Tuesday.


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