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SFO Undergoes Runway Work and Terminal Upgrades

What does this mean for Pacifica? More air traffic over Pacifica during construction period, said SFO spokesperson.

Courtesy SFO
Courtesy SFO

The San Francisco International Airport announced plans to temporarily close two runways during the summer of 2014 to complete the final phase of multi-year, federally mandated Runway Safety Area (RSA) construction project.

The project, required by federal statute to be completed by the end of 2015, will reconfigure Runways 1L and 1R to provide additional thresholds to safely slow an aircraft should it overshoot a runway.

Construction is scheduled to begin on May 17, 2014 and is planned to last through September 2014. Multiple phases of preparatory work have already been completed to support this temporary closure. Construction will be conducted day and night, seven days a week to help minimize the impact to customers.

“We have been working with the FAA and the airlines for the past several years to develop a plan to adjust schedules and capacity in advance of the temporary closure in order to minimize the impact to our customers during construction.” said San Francisco International Airport Director John L. Martin. “Unlike other airports, expanding the runways was not an option. We have to work within the airport’s current footprint. Closing both runways at the same time is the safest and fastest option.”

The airport has consulted with airline partners, the FAA and the business community to develop a flight management plan during the construction phase in order to minimize inconvenience to air travelers, explains Martin.

In a Pacifica Tribune report, SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel says it's unknown as to how many planes will be routed over Pacifica during the runway work, but the departure patterns shown in the image above will be what is utilized during this four and a half month construction period.

According to Yakel, the northern end of Pacifica could expect to see more traffic than normal but that it's also important to note that this pattern is already used whenever windy conditions require it. 

All stakeholders will be working cooperatively to manage flight schedules ahead of and during the closures to minimize customer disruptions and provide the greatest convenience possible to the flying public, said Martin.

In other SFO news, a new boarding area at San Francisco's International Airport will be unveiled next year as part of a renovation at one of the airport's terminals.

Terminal 3, where United Airlines is based, has undergone a $138-million transformation to upgrade the boarding area, set to open to travelers on Jan. 28.
           
The renovation of a 68,000-square-foot boarding area, known as Boarding Area E, includes new interactive displays, new dining and shopping venues, new seating options, a yoga room like the one in Terminal 2, art installations, and a wall of windows for plane watching.

Another project to revamp the 150,000-square-foot connecting concourse to Boarding Area F is underway with a $209-million budget. A new security checkpoint with as many as 10 lanes and three additional gates are part of the project, which is anticipated to open late next summer. The project will be phased in until its completion in July 2015.

Additional reporting by Bay City News Service.

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