FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) has its very own mascot named “Gordo,” a word that could be open to multiple interpretations.

Not all airports in the United States have a mascot, but officials at Fresno Yosemite International Airport came up with the blue and yellow character because “airports and birds are all about flying.”

Gordo’s inspiration comes from two local bird species found across California, including Yosemite National Park. The species are the Yellow Warbler and the Scrub Blue Jay.

“Gordo” (the airport mascot) wears hiking boots, flying goggles, and a white scarf with the logo of the Fresno Yosemite International Airport and it was introduced to the public in Aug. 2019.

According to Top Hand Media, a Fresno marketing company that was chosen by the airport to design the mascot, “Gordo” was designed by local muralist and designer Rudy Contreras who previously worked at Disney. He revealed that the bird went through different color changes before the final result: blue from the Scrub Blue Jay and yellow from the Warbler.

Gordo is Fresno’s Yosemite International Airport Mascot

In Spanish, the word “Gordo” translates as “fat” which is also the IATA location code for Fresno’s airport: “FAT” (referencing the airport’s former name Fresno Air Terminal). Gordo can have a derogatory meaning but in some Spanish-speaking countries can be used as a term of endearment almost equivalent to “honey” or “baby”, not necessarily to be interpreted literally.

Fresno Yosemite International Airport officials say “Gordo” represents nature, flights, and the airport’s code “FAT” because he loves to fly and represents the phrase “Flying May Cause Happiness”.

We want passengers to have a good travel experience as they fly through FAT with our amenities, Arts & Culture Program, festive décor during the holidays. The airport’s team works hard to create a great atmosphere for our travelers. The airport is a happy place and that is what Gordo represents.

Fresno Yosemite International Airport

“Gordo” has been working in all kinds of bilingual messaging related to airport operations, including construction projects, during the pandemic wearing a mask, as well as being a positive role model for travelers flying through Fresno’s airport.