San Francisco International Airport officials are aiming to reopen the runway where Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed as soon as Saturday, an airport spokesman said.
The target date to open Runway 28L had been Sunday after the National Transportation Safety Board gave use of the runway back to the airport Wednesday evening after wrapping up its preliminary investigation of the deadly crash last weekend.
However, SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said this morning that “we made great progress overnight” and that the wreckage of the charred Boeing 777 was removed and the runway has been repaved.
Cleanup and repair crews are continuing work and the runway is likely to be fully functional come Saturday, Yakel said.
Before then, the Federal Aviation Administration needs to re-certify the runway and will perform its own flight checks, Yakel said.
Some of the work on the runway includes cleaning up spilled jet fuel, checking electrical systems, repairing runway lights and fixing damage to the seawall, airport officials said.
With one of the airport’s four runways out of commission since the crash late Saturday morning, there have been constant delays and cancellations for other travelers this week.
Today, Yakel said there were 45-minute delays and about 50 flights in and out of the airport that had been canceled.
He advised passengers to check in with their airlines before heading to the airport.
He said once the runway is open, the only anticipated delays should be ones related to inclement weather.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News