SFO international terminal to be renamed after the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein

The road in front of the international terminal sits empty at San Francisco International Airport.
The international terminal at San Francisco International Airport in 2020.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

San Francisco International Airport’s governing body announced Tuesday that it will rename its international terminal after the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a trailblazer in California politics who died last year.

The San Francisco Airport Commission’s move came in response to a campaign by a group of notable local figures who call themselves the Dianne Feinstein 100-Plus Committee. The group, chaired by former San Francisco mayor and longtime state Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, submitted a renaming application to the commission in November.

“The naming of the San Francisco International Terminal after Sen. Feinstein is a fitting tribute to a woman who opened the doors for so many other women leaders throughout the city, state and nation,” said Jim Gonzalez, a spokesperson for the group.


Gonzalez said that aside from seeing a new name on the terminal’s signs, international travelers will have the opportunity to reflect on someone “who is an incredible defender of democracy, someone who always stood against authoritarianism and was in her own right a civil rights leader for all communities.”

Beyond the name change, the airport commission said it would collaborate with the Feinstein 100-Plus Committee on further efforts to celebrate Feinstein’s legacy relative to both the airport and the city of San Francisco.

After reviewing the proposal to rename the terminal, the airport commission said it found there were “compelling reasons to honor the nominee.”

In a press release, the commission listed several successful efforts led by Feinstein, including negotiating a 30-year lease and use agreement with the airlines that transformed the airport’s business and led to the construction of its first international terminal, which opened in 1983.

The commission also noted Feinstein’s role in bringing BART transit directly to the international terminal, supporting SFO’s first in-line baggage screening system after 9/11 and helping SFO access new FAA technology to improve safety and reduce delays.

There is no timeline yet for when the renaming and other changes will take place.

Feinstein was the first woman to represent California in the Senate and the longest-serving woman there. She died of natural causes at age 90 in September.