Airplane taking off at sunset
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Saint-Hubert Airport Changed Its Name to Montréal Metropolitan Airport. Not So Fast… keeping the change of the name is being blocked by a lawsuit.

Montréal and San Francisco have at least one thing in common: both cities are not happy that neighboring airports want to use their city names in the names of their airports. Saint-Hubert Airport changed its name to Montréal Metropolitan Airport back in February of 2024 with a new terminal that is scheduled to open in the summer of 2025 — but a permanent injunction has been requested in Québec Superior Court to force the new Montréal Metropolitan Airport to again change its name because of the potential confusion that the new name may cause to passengers.

Saint-Hubert Airport Changed Its Name to Montréal Metropolitan Airport. Not So Fast…

Officials at Saint-Hubert Airport are accusing Aéroports de Montréal — which is the authority that oversees the operations of Montréal-Trudeau International Airport — of trying to protect a “monopoly.”

Saint-Hubert Airport has operated since 1927; but the airport is currently undergoing a reinvention of itself to become a bonafide commercial aviation center. Even the airport code changed from YHU to MET, which is unusual for two reasons: airports rarely have their official codes changed; and the airport codes in Canada usually begin with the letter Y.

Purported benefits of the new Montréal Metropolitan Airport include — but are not limited to — the following:

  • An easy access for travelers — strategically located just 15 kilometres from downtown Montréal, the MET – Montréal Metropolitan Airport plans to offer a free electric shuttle service linking the airport to the city centre.
  • 25 destinations available as of 2025 — Montréal Metropolitan Airport will allow passengers to fly to several new Canadian and regional destinations.
  • A sustainable airport on a human scale — designed to adapt to its environment and respect nearby communities, the airport will be intended for quieter, more ecologically-friendly aircraft.
  • An airport open to innovation — as a veritable living laboratory, the airport will act as a learning center for innovation and research; and the airport area will propel aerospace development in greater Montréal.
  • Welcoming the first passengers in 2025
  • 226,000 square feet surface area with nine gates
  • Maximum capacity of four million travelers per year
  • Upcoming construction of a 130-room hotel property
  • Development aligned with the region’s communities and elected officials
  • A model with limited noise and carbon footprints
  • A place for aeronautic training and innovation
  • A developmental priority for regions in Québec
  • No high-capacity aircraft
  • No commercial night flights
  • Mufflers installed on flight school airplanes
  • Implementation of the WebTrack transparency and complaint submission tool
  • Intended for the most fuel-efficient aircraft on the market
  • GHG emission assessment and commitment to a reduction plan
  • Pending Airport Carbon Accreditation
  • Planned implementation of a free electric shuttles linking the airport to downtown Montréal that will reduce the use of single-occupant car travel
  • Numerous other initiatives will be announced shortly

Montréal Metropolitan Airport announced a partnership with Porter Airlines in 2023 for the aforementioned new $200-million terminal that is expected to be in operation in the summer of 2025 and could potentially handle up to four million domestic travelers a year.

Final Boarding Call

Poor Saint-Hubert. At least the proposed new name of its international airport is not changing to honor someone, which I vehemently oppose. Airports should not be named after people, in my opinion — especially when people such as Patrick Anthony McCarran and John Wayne are considered to be controversial…

…but an airport name should also be easy to remember. It should include the name of the geographic location which it serves. I personally prefer the name Saint-Hubert International Airport. Easy.

As part of a broader effort to improve the experience of passengers, the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday, April 11, 2024 for Metropolitan Oakland International Airport to change its name to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport — but several attorneys for the city of San Francisco have filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in opposition of the change of the name by alleging infringement of the trademark of the name San Francisco International Airport.

If the city of Saint-Hubert wants increased recognition of where it is located, perhaps it needs to spend money on improving the city and creating its own positive reasons for becoming a destination that is more unique. It does not need to follow the example of the international airport which serves Baltimore, whose official name was Baltimore/Washington International Airport but then was changed to — get this — Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Just call it Baltimore International Airport and be done with it…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Montreal is the wrong party. If there is confusion over having Montreal Trudeau airport and Saint Hubert (Montreal Metropolitan), then Trudeau could call itself by its recent name, Dorval. ADM, the operator of Trudeau, should then, by the same logic, sue itself for naming Montreal Mirabel International by that “confusing” name.

    Mirabel, is a huge white elephant and money loser. It was built for the 1976 Olympics and was supposed to be the Dulles or DFW airport for Montreal.

    In reality, the best names should be Dorval Airport, Mirabel Airport, and Saint Hubert Airport. None of this “international” stuff.

    As far as a “Baltimore International Airport”, I would favor the old name, Friendship Airport.

    1. I tend to think that airports should simply be named after the cities they serve, derek

      …and if more than one airport exists, then a differentiating term — such as international if the other airport does not serve international destinations — should suffice.

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