Two runways at San Francisco International Airport will be closed next summer for the final phase of a construction project, airport officials said today.
Runways 1L and 1R will be reconfigured to create longer thresholds in case an airplane overshoots the runway as part of a federally mandated Runway Safety Area construction project, airport spokesman Doug Yakel said in a statement.
In addition, a new Engineered Material Arresting System will be installed that can safely catch a plane's landing gear if it overshoots.
Landing lights, navigation systems and other equipment will also be relocated as part of the project, Yakel said. Construction will start May 17, 2014, and last through September 2014. Work will be conducted day and night, seven days a week in order to complete the project quickly and minimize disruptions.
The airport will exclusively use its two main runways, Runways 28L and 28R, during the closures.
Travelers may experience minor delays during peak periods in good weather, and should expect more serious delays on bad weather days, similar to what the airports sees on winter days, Yakel said.
"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," Yakel said in a statement. "Closing both runways at the same time is the safest and fastest option," Yakel said.
The airport previously closed a major runway in February this year as part of the same safety improvement project.