SFO runway repairs could cause flight delays through May

Michael Cabanatuan
April 11, 2023

Travelers flying out of San Francisco International Airport could face minor delays through May as construction crews repave and upgrade one of the airport’s runways.

The airport is in the midst of repaving its shortest runway — Runway 1 Left. Crews are replacing the surface layer, making improvements to adjacent taxiways, upgrading lighting and painting new striping and markings.

The work, which started on March 27, is expected to be completed by May 25 in time for Memorial Day weekend travel, said Doug Yakel, an SFO spokesperson.

While work is underway, all arriving and departing flights will use the airport’s two primary runways, 28 Left and 28 Right — a common configuration often used during windy days. Foggy conditions could cause delays of less than an hour.

“This is expected to result in slightly longer taxi times for departing aircraft to reach the open runways,” Yakel said.

Delays averaging about 18 minutes are affecting about 10% of flights, he said. The potential for similar delays will continue through the project.

SFO, after consulting with airlines, chose to do the $51 million in runway work now to avoid the busy summer and end-of-the-year travel seasons, Yakel said. Paving also needs to be done in dry weather conditions.

Reach Michael Cabanatuan: mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com; Twitter: @ctuan