FlightStats, which is based in Portland, Ore., says 86.9 percent of flights into Oakland in 2009 arrived at their gate within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time.
Cincinnati's airport ranked second with 84.46 percent of flights arriving on time.
Newark finished last among the list of the 40 busiest North American airports, with only 65.37 percent of flights arriving on time.
San Francisco International Airport finished 34th, with 73.17 percent of flights arriving on time.
San Jose International Airport wasn't on the list because it's not one of the top 40 busiest airports. However, a FlightStats spokesman said San Jose's record was almost as good as Oakland's with, 85.24 percent of flights arriving on time. A FlightStats spokesman said that although San Jose isn't one of the top 40 busiest airports it ranks among the top 45 busiest.
Oakland airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes said an important reason it ranked first is that its weather is better than the weather at most other airports across the country and in the region.
Barnes said that when there's fog in the Bay Area, "Oakland has less chance of being impacted" than do the airports in San Francisco and San Jose.
Omar Benjamin, the executive director at the Port of Oakland, which owns and operates the airport, said in a statement, "Oakland International Airport is, by industry standards, a high-performance facility."
Benjamin said, "This statistical acknowledgment by FlightStats speaks to that and to the outstanding aeronautical reliability" of the airport.
FlightStats' data also show that two U.S. airlines which serve Oakland achieved No. 1 status for on-time arrivals in 2009.
Hawaiian Airlines led regional carriers with 91.8 percent of its flights arriving on time.
Southwest Airlines, which has more flights in Oakland than any other airline, led major carriers with 82.5 percent of its flights arriving on time.
According to FlightStats, there were 175,696 flights to San Francisco last year, 53,484 flights to Oakland and 52,258 flights to San Jose.