Oakland, California – On December 17, 1903, two brothers achieved what had only been dreamed about for centuries – manned, powered flight. One hundred years later, over one billion people travel the world by air annually. To commemorate this anniversary, airports across America are celebrating 100 years of aviation by honoring their loyal customers on Wednesday, December 17, 2003.
At Oakland International Airport (OAK), balloons and banners bearing thank you messages and employees wearing “Thank You” badges will greet customers traveling on Wednesday. Complimentary USAToday newspapers with a coupon good for 100 cents off a retail purchase at CAOne stores at OAK will also be distributed.
“Thanks to our customers, OAK was the second-fastest growing airport in the nation last year,” said Director of Aviation Steve Grossman. “This year, we expect to serve over 13.6 million passengers. We know travelers have a choice in airports, and we appreciate that they choose Oakland International Airport.”
Also, on this day, Horizon Air inaugurates daily nonstop service between OAK and Sun Valley, Idaho (SUN). Flights will depart OAK at 7:25 p.m., arriving SUN at 10:35 p.m. Return flights will depart SUN at 5:35 p.m., arriving OAK at 6:55 p.m. Horizon Air is the only carrier offering nonstop service between Sun Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area this ski season. For reservations and ski vacation packages information, call Horizon Air at 800-547-9308, visit www.horizonair.com, or contact your travel professional. For information on Sun Valley Resort, call 800-786-8259 or visit www.sunvalley.com.
The Oakland Museum of California, OAK’s exhibit partner, will open two aviation-themed shows that will run from February 6 through April 28, 2004, in honor of the centennial of flight. In Terminal One, the show will feature an exhibit called “Air Strips” looking at aviation in the comics. In Terminal Two, the show will feature an exhibit called “Sky Shots,” a view of the San Francisco Bay Area through aerial photography.
For more information on the centennial of flight, visit www.centennialofflight.gov or www.firstflightcentennial.org.
OAK has served the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 75 years and is responsible for $4.5 billion in economic activity annually in the San Francisco Bay Area, generating over 70,000 jobs for the region. OAK is a revenue division of the Port of Oakland, an independent department of the City of Oakland, and served 12.7 million passengers and handled more than 600,000 metric tons of air cargo in 2002.
The airport has over 200 flights a day on 11 domestic and international carriers to 37 nonstop destinations, including Atlanta, the Hawaiian Islands, the New York area, Washington, D.C., and Mexico and seasonal service to the Azores (Portugal), Costa Rica and Sun Valley, Idaho.
OAK consistently has the fewest weather-related flight delays in the Bay Area. Since 1992, the airport and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) have jointly operated a dedicated shuttle bus that meets every BART system train at the nearby Coliseum station. All on-airport rental car companies are now located at the interim Rental Car Center at 7600 Earhart Road. A common-use shuttle bus transports rental car customers between this facility and the terminals every 10 minutes. Travelers are reminded that the 98th Avenue corridor is open to both inbound and outbound traffic creating a fast, direct route to and from Interstate 880. Visit the airport’s web site at www.oaklandairport.com for more information.