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US Bay Area update

Not that many of us are flying these days but SFO announced major runway repairs affecting flights for a week+ in October. It seems a bit more extensive than the single runway closure last year that impacted many of us.

From SFGate:
“Are you planning to fly out of San Francisco International in October? Try to avoid flying during the eight days from Oct. 8 to Oct. 15. That’s when two of the airport’s four runways will be closed down for a major maintenance project that involves repaving a part of Runway 28R at its intersection with Runways 1L and 1R. The project was originally scheduled for 2022, but airport officials decided to get it done this fall to take advantage of the airport’s reduced flight activity due to the coronavirus pandemic – down about 60 percent from the same time last year. During the critical eight-day shutdown, officials expect about a third of all flights arriving and departing will face delays, especially from 9 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m.-8 p.m. (You might recall that in September 2019, SFO closed a runway for three weeks to conduct preliminary repair work in this same area, resulting in significant delays and flight cancellations.)“

Posted by
5538 posts

Wonder if they will be diverting to Oakland or San Jose and doing a bus bridge (or airline-paid taxi) in case incoming flights get caught in an endless circle.

Posted by
1042 posts

Hi Mona —
I’m not planning to fly in October, unfortunately, but that is good information to have.
Thanks for sharing it.
For what it’s worth, I’m delighted to hear that they will be doing this work early since flights are so much fewer in number now.

Posted by
758 posts

I never fly into SFO, San Jose is a much better airport.

I doubt they will divert much, as the flight windows at any airport are bought and paid for by the airlines using those facilities. They can't just "add some more".

Posted by
7124 posts

I would think any airport that had paving programs planned for anytime in the next five years would be looking at accelerating the project to do so while it would be less disruptive to operations.

Posted by
1106 posts

I was caught up in the September 2019 version of the runway maintenance. As I recall there were a lot of flight delays and cancellations. I don’t recall hearing of diversions. As I understand it, the general way this is handled is thru ground stops. The FAA plans ahead coordinating with the airport and airlines. Flights are not allowed to takeoff from their starting airport until there is an open landing slot at the destination. This avoids having a bunch of flights circling waiting to land and creating an unnecessary burden on ATC. My flight ended up 2 or 3 hours late.

Given the airlines poor financial health I doubt they would be willing to divert, set up and pay for alternative transportation unless it is a last moment necessity.

I do agree that San Jose may be a nicer alternative. It rarely has flight delays due to capacity issues. It’s small and easy to get in and out of. Very few international flight options prior to the pandemic.

Article on last year’s project.
https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/09/19/repaired-runway-reopens-sfo/

Posted by
5517 posts

San Jose’s Airport is officially known as the Norm Y Mineta International Airport.

Mineta was the Secretary of Transportation in the George H Bush administration. The son of Japanese immigrants his family was interned in the Heart Mountain Wyoming relocation camp during WW2.

A graduate of the University California of California at Berkeley ( Go Bears!) in 1953 he joined the US Army and served as an intelligence officer in Korea and Japan.

His political career began in the late 60’s when he was elected to the San Jose City Council, became Vice Mayor and in 1971 became the first Japanese American Mayor of a US City. In 1974 he was elected to the US House of Representatives.
He was the longest serving Secretary of Transportation.

Posted by
340 posts

Periodic maintenance has to be done, with the pandemic reducing traffic, airline industry in-flux, and Terminal-1 nearing completion, its as good a time as any to get it done.

The Bay Area, we're very fortunate to have 3 international airports within an hours drive of one another, include Sacramento (SMF) for those in the North Bay, along with Santa Rosa (STS) for West Coast domestic destinations...there's a lot of departure options depending on where you're located.