SFO closes runway ahead of summer travel season

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Air travel is already picking up as we head into the summer season.

The European Union even announced on Monday it could start allowing U.S. tourists back this summer but over at SFO, one of the runways is under construction and will be closed all summer long.

“This is our longest runway, it’s almost 12,000 feet long,” SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel said. 

As of Monday, runway 28-right at San Francisco International Airport is officially closed.

For the next four months, crews will be repaving the surface layer, constructing two new taxiways, and improving lighting infrastructure on the runway.

“This is what we call routine maintenance runways that get used as much as ours do need to be paved every 8-10 years. We were slated to do this next year, but with the reduced flight activity we decided to accelerate the project,” Yakel said. 

Even with an uptick in travel over the last month, SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel says airlines are still just operating at about 50 percent of their pre-pandemic flight schedules but the pace may soon pick up.

On Monday, the European Union announced officials are completing plans to allow American’s back for leisure travel this summer but timing all depends on the course of the pandemic.

“We know with every country that reopens, airlines are going to immediately follow suit. This closure most likely will not impact international travel though because although we might see flight schedule increases over the course of the next 4 months, it won’t be significant enough to cause any type of impact that is different then what we might experience today during this project,” Yakel said. 

Those day to day impacts include delays for both arriving and departing flights.

“Flights during the 5-8 p.m., a window will most likely be impacted. It’ll be delayed running from just 30-60 minutes in duration outside of that window of time, if there are delays it’ll be less than 30 minutes,” Yakel said. 

All work is expected to be done by Labor Day.

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