SFO to rename international terminal for Sen. Dianne Feinstein

San Francisco International Airport commissioners approved renaming the international terminal in honor of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Efforts to rename the SFO terminal began in November when the Dianne Feinstein 100-plus person Committee submitted a proposal to the San Francisco Airport Commission. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, spoke before the Airport Commission on Tuesday as the chair of the Committee.

"She didn’t just do those things inside chambers of the job she had as an elected official, she was virtually an ambassador for the city, and particularly an ambassador for the airport," said Brown.   

Feinstein was the longest-serving U.S. senator and the first woman to serve as mayor of San Francisco. 

With the resolution's adoption, SFO will collaborate with the Dianne Feinstein 100-plus Committee on the development and execution of the name change, aiming to celebrate Feinstein's legacy in relation to SFO and the City of San Francisco, according to airport officials.

Passengers inside the international terminal Tuesday night said they aren’t surprised about the name change.  

"We think times are tough now, but times were tough then too. She kind of burnished the image of San Francisco. I think she did lay some good groundwork for that," said Tanya, of Fremont. 

"As a Senator, she was on the judiciary committee and foreign service committee. She’s done a great job and I think the terminal will be named after the right person," said Paddy, of Fremont.    

Feinstein died on September 29 at the age of 90 at her home in Washington, D.C. A centrist Democrat and advocate for liberal causes, she made history as the oldest sitting U.S. senator, and was first elected to the Senate in 1992.

Known for breaking gender barriers, Feinstein passionately championed issues such as environmental protection, reproductive rights, and gun control. Despite her commitment to liberal priorities, she was recognized as a pragmatic lawmaker who sought bipartisan cooperation. SFO officials said she was instrumental in the airport's growth, such as helping to bring a BART train station to the international terminal. 

"She’s left a legacy. There is a lot of legislation and a lot of things that are there because she did her bit," said Chris, who lives in the East Bay.   

Parts of SFO are named for other politicians who hailed from the city. Terminal 1 is named for Harvey Milk, the city supervisor who was the first openly gay politician elected in California. There is also a hall in the international terminal that's named for former San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee who died in office in 2017.