San Francisco International Airport to close runway on Saturday, expect delays and cancellations

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Friday night at San Francisco's International Airport, flights were all on time. But starting Saturday, that likely won't be the case. That's when the airport's busiest runway will close for 20 days for a $16.2 million maintenance project.

A new base is being built along the 1,900 foot stretch to where it meets the intersection of another runway.

RELATED: 20-day closure of SFO runway to start in September

For travelers, yes, this means all flights during this period will have to land and and take off on just one runway. And yes, that likely means delays.

So, are you traveling through SFO this month? Here's what you need to know:

  • The runway will be out of commission for 20 days starting Saturday, Sept. 7. It is expected to reopen on Friday, September 27.

  • The delays are expected to average 20-30 minutes but could be as long as two hours.

  • The delays are expected to start after 9 am, so the airport recommends travelers hoping to avoid delays fly on earlier flights.


  • Domestic and international flights could experience delays, but the airport predicts short flights could be most affected.

  • SFO says Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays have the most flights and thus could have more delays.

  • Many airlines are offering free change fees on flights through SFO. The airport advises passengers contact their airline directly if they wish to make any changes in their travel.

  • To help reduce traffic, SFO has worked with airlines to reduce the number of flights coming in and out of during this period by 13-percent.


Asked about the inconvenience to passengers, SFO Airport Duty Manager Maria Buyco said the project is "necessary maintenance."

"I would think of it like this, like how roadways have maintenance, like a regular road," she explained, "So a runway is similar to that. You know, it gets wear and tear, so it's necessary to have this maintenance done."
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