San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has announced plans to close down Runway 28R for four months to complete renovation works.
These upgrades, which were scheduled to take place in 2022 initially, will now begin in April 2021.
The airport stated that it is going ahead with the runway improvement projects due to the reduced flight schedules resulting from the pandemic, thereby reducing the extent of delays and cancellations caused by the runway closures.
In October 2020, the airport started repaving a section of Runway 28R where it crosses with two other runways.
This recent project will include work such as repaving the remaining Runway 28R, the construction of two taxiways, the extension of eight runway-taxiway intersections, and upgrading of lighting infrastructure.
In addition to the four-month closure of Runway 28R, Runway 28L will also be temporarily shut down for three weeks.
All work is set to be completed by Labour Day (6 September 2021).
SFO stated that airlines are currently planning to run less than 50% of the flights initially scheduled prior to the pandemic.
Both arriving and departing flights are likely to be affected during the improvement period.
Airport officials informed that moderate postponements will occur after the closure of the runway, with most delays occurring on flights scheduled between 11am to 12pm and 4pm to 7pm.
The airport has recommended passengers to book early morning flights before 4:00pm PDT during this period, as most delays are expected to start after 4:00pm PDT each day.
The Runway 28R Rehabilitation Phase 2 project was granted to Golden Gate Constructors.
The total value of the project is estimated at $127m.