Press Release – SFO Runways Set to Re-Open on Sunday, August 10th – Runway construction project completed one month in advance

  • by BPC Staff
  • on August 7, 2014

SFO Runways Set to Re-Open on Sunday, August 10th


Runway construction project completed one month in advance


SAN FRANCISCO – August 7, 2014 – The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) marked a milestone by announcing the early re-opening of two runways which have been closed for construction of federally-mandated Runway Safety Areas (RSA).  The Airport plans to re-open the runways at 12:00 noon Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday, August 10th, a month ahead of the original schedule.  With this re-opening, all four runways at SFO will be operational.

“I am proud to announce the successful completion of our multi-year Runway Safety Area construction project, and re-opening of our runways, ahead of schedule and under budget,” said Airport Director John L. Martin.  “This tremendous achievement was made possible by the outstanding collaboration between Airport staff, airlines, the FAA, and our construction partners.  I am grateful to the entire team for safely attaining this milestone.”

SFO has been working on the Runway Safety Area project since 2008, and completed the necessary work on two runways in June 2013.  For the final phase of the project, which focused on the two remaining runways, SFO met with airlines and the FAA to review a variety of runway closure options.  The Airport, airlines, and FAA agreed upon a simultaneous closure of both runways on May 17, 2014 to accomplish the required work safely and in the shortest amount of time.

In preparation for the runway closures, airlines made voluntary adjustments to summer flight schedule, and the Airport implemented a Departure Management System (DMS) to reduce the amount of time aircraft spent taxiing prior to takeoff.  SFO also made frequent use of the Closely Spaced Parallel Runway (CSPR) procedure, an enhanced FAA procedure which makes more efficient use of parallel runways.  The Airport also conducted extensive outreach in the communities surrounding SFO to communicate temporary changes in air traffic patterns as a result of the runway closures.

The completed Runway Safety Areas on Runways 1L and 1R included the installation of Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) blocks, arranged to create a bed of crushable concrete which can safely slow an aircraft should it overshoot a runway.

Other project highlights of the Runway 1L and 1R construction include:

• 130,000 working hours to complete
•  22,532 blocks of EMAS installed
• 160,000 tons of asphalt concrete paved
• 120 miles of wires and cables installed
•  Zero on-the-job injuries

The Runway Safety Area requirement applies to approximately 40 airports across the U.S., including SFO.  A Congressional mandate required the completion of all work by December 31, 2015.  With the completion of this final phase, SFO has met the requirement more than 20 months in advance.  The $226M project, financed through federal funding and airport general revenue bonds, was completed under budget at an anticipated cost of $223M.


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