San Francisco International Airport Closing Two Runways for Safety Improvements, Expect Delays

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Francisco International Airport is expected to close two runways Saturday to make safety improvements and that translates into delays. NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle reports. (Published Saturday, May 17, 2014)

    San Francisco International Airport is expected to close two runways Saturday to make safety improvements and that translates into delays.

    SFO is shutting down two-of-its-four runways for the summer to make federally mandated safety improvements. All arriving and departing flights will share the two runways.

    An airport spokesperson says departing travelers will be most impacted. Passengers said they are dreading the delays.

    "I'm flying June 4 to Hawaii so I guess maybe there will be a delay," Brigitte Dhumad of San Bruno said. "We are gonna sit on the runway and say a prayer right."

    There will also be fewer flights to choose from. Airlines have voluntarily reduced flight numbers to try and minimize delays.

    Delays will not be the only construction headache, as take off patterns will change. More planes will be sent over South San Francisco, San Bruno and Pacifica.

    Residents got a letter in the mail explaining the shift and the noise that will go along with it.

    An airport spokesperson said last year the airport operated with only two runways for over 100 days due to weather conditions.

    So the change is something staff is used to, and some passengers are used to the delays.