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Half Of SFO's Runways Close For Months-Long Rebuilding Project

SAN FRANCISCO INT'L AIRPORT (KPIX 5) -- Two of the four runways at San Francisco International Airport will be shut down for several months starting on Saturday, as part of a required safety upgrade.

Construction crews will work on runways 1L and 1R, which are normally used for takeoffs.

"For a period of about three to four months, we'll be operating all of our arrivals and departures on the remaining two runways," said SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel.

The closures are part of a federally mandated project to make taking off and landing at 40 major airports safer by extending the runways.

But construction is sure to cause delays, more flights will come to SFO after the closure, but fewer than normal for the summer.

"We normally see airlines increase their flight schedules during the summer season, in this case they've only increased it a modest amount, only about two percent this summer in recognition of these runway closures," Yakel said.

Peak air traffic will go from 100 flights an hour to 80, and more flights will take off in off peak times.

SFO will also start up a new departure management system, which operates like the metering lights on freeway onramps to minimize wait times for planes about to take off.


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