Good news, San Francisco flyers! Runway to reopen a week early

Sep 19, 2019

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You don’t get to write about news like this every day.

A major construction project — the resurfacing of San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) longest runway, which has been snarling air traffic in the Bay Area since earlier this month — is set to wrap up Thursday night, a full week ahead of schedule.

The airport’s operators said that crews have completed repaving the base layer of Runway 28L, which was previously found to have cracks that risked the runway’s integrity. Workers have also finished repainting the area.

“I am proud to announce the re-opening of Runway 28L at SFO, ahead of schedule,” Ivar Satero, SFO airport’s director, said in a statement. “This tremendous accomplishment was made possible by the outstanding collaboration between Airport staff, airlines at SFO, the FAA, and our construction partners, and I am grateful to the entire team for completing this work safely and expeditiously.

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“Most importantly, I would like to acknowledge the inconvenience this work caused to our customers, and thank them for their patience during this critical project, which will ensure the long-term reliability of our runway system at SFO,” Satero added.

The view of the planes landing at SFO. (Photo by Angelo DeSantis / Getty Images)
A United 737 lands on runway 28L at SFO (Photo by Angelo DeSantis / Getty Images)

Over the course of the project, thousands of flights were diverted, delayed or canceled as the airport dealt with severe capacity constraints that arose from the project.

United Airlines, the busiest carrier at SFO, even went so far as to issue a rebooking waiver for customers scheduled to fly through the airport during the project.

Barring weather or other issues, traffic patterns should return to normal at 9 p.m. PT Thursday (Sept. 19) when the runway is expected to go back online.

Featured photo by George Rose/Getty Images.

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