LAX bracing for 11 busy days around Thanksgiving holiday
By BARRINGTON NEWS SERVICE
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The Labor Day weekend sees airline passengers flying out of San Francisco International Airport on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then returning to the airport on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
With the addition of a major airport on the West Coast that has a large number of daily traffic from the East, some carriers and airports are facing extra demand this year by both departing and returning passengers.
Airport officials are planning to add a third runway to the San Francisco International Airport to add capacity after September 11, but the Federal Aviation Administration is also planning to expand its runway capacities to handle even more passenger traffic through the holiday weekend.
According to a National Transportation Safety Board report obtained by the State Tribune, the FAA is planning to expand existing runways from three to five at San Francisco International Airport. The agency also plans to extend a north-south runway to accommodate even larger air traffic. It also plans to expand the runway to accommodate flights that depart San Francisco International Airport at night.
The report says the extra capacity can accommodate the increased air traffic caused by the addition of the new runway and new airline service. The airport has the capacity to handle 1.65 million passengers for the weekend, the report shows.
But one potential hit to airport travelers from the expanded runway is the extra congestion.
Airport Manager Jim Graziano told the State Tribune he has no estimate yet for what the expansion will cost. But the expansion is not a done deal and would require new funding from the FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the California Department of Transportation, and the Port of San Francisco.
San Francisco International Airport, or SFO, serves more than 50 million passengers a year and carries more than 10 million items a year.
The TSAB report says the FAA’s proposed expansion of the airport runway will increase the number of takeoff attempts from 100,000 to about 200,000. The report says the FAA has not yet determined how many of the extra traffic can be accommodated.
San Francisco International Airport has a major airport, and travelers are not the only ones who are affected. Air passengers are concerned with increased traffic at airports around the country, but that’s exactly the point.
There are already too many air travelers competing for the same limited space.
If we want to continue to have a competitive business