Mex87
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New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:07 pm

Hello everyone! I have been here following you for years now but never had the need of posting, since I prefer learning from your comments in other topics.
But I posted today because I have been wondering if the city of San Francisco could, eventually, replace SFO with a newer airport, since it's operationally restricted (the runway layout doesn't help much and visibility is low sometimes, even delays are high or so I've heard). Also, is an expansion a possible solution? I mean, the Bay Area must be, environmentally speaking, a challenge.

I've also noted the vicinity of Oakland's airport. Could a single airport replace both airfields and turn the current sites into development areas and be linked by a ferry or BART service? I'm no expert on the subject, however I've been having this doubts since a while now...Specially since I have just entered an architectural competition (conceptual) to improve worldwide airports (you know, better passenger experience, flows, Eco-friendly architecture and basically turning the airport into a destination per-se), and what a better site than airliners.net due to experts and highly knowing amateurs commenting on the subject. I chose SFO because I think it's challenging but enormously rewarding and interesting. Any comments on the subject? It could be the site of an awesome airport. At least, hypothetical one.

Thanks! Have an excellent day.
Last edited by Mex87 on Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
NichCage
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:13 pm

Thats not the only issue SFO has to deal with. The International Terminal, divided into G and A boarding areas is also congested. For example, Boarding Area G (United + Star Alliance) is full. All of the gates are full or almost full, meaning airlines often have to wait for gates. From the morning to a slower time at night, most gates in Boarding Area G are full, and with all of the new flights SFO has gained over the years on Boarding Area G (such as Aer Lingus, SAS, Swiss, and the United International expansion to Singapore, Tel Aviv, Hangzhou, Auckland, etc) means Boarding Area G is often congested for most hours and cannot handle more aircraft.
 
NichCage
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:15 pm

To answer you actual question, I don't think anything will be done to SFO in the long term. Enviromentalists in the Bay Area mostly prevent expansion work to be done on new land, and make it hard for new land at SFO to be created.
 
Mex87
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:25 pm

Yes, that's my thought on it too. The Bay is to frail to be intervened, and environmentalists are an issue. A logical one, though. But imagine that they do grant permission and the airport has a change to expand. What would you change on it?

Thanks for the info on the International terminal. As I said, I'm no expert and your comments really give me much information to work with NichCage.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:28 pm

NichCage wrote:
Thats not the only issue SFO has to deal with. The International Terminal, divided into G and A boarding areas is also congested. For example, Boarding Area G (United + Star Alliance) is full. All of the gates are full or almost full, meaning airlines often have to wait for gates. From the morning to a slower time at night, most gates in Boarding Area G are full, and with all of the new flights SFO has gained over the years on Boarding Area G (such as Aer Lingus, SAS, Swiss, and the United International expansion to Singapore, Tel Aviv, Hangzhou, Auckland, etc) means Boarding Area G is often congested for most hours and cannot handle more aircraft.


I think UA only needs the INTL-G for FIS purposes. IIRC the outbound departures for all those 787 can directly take place out of T3-F if need be (towing required).
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:32 pm

Could an airside ferry between SFO and OAK work?
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Aeroflot777
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:34 pm

NichCage wrote:
G and A boarding areas is also congested.


NichCage wrote:
Boarding Area G (United + Star Alliance) is full


NichCage wrote:
All of the gates are full or almost full


NichCage wrote:
Boarding Area G is often congested for most hours


It's congested and full you say? 8-) :P

The international gates are used to their max during many parts of the day, but those peak times come in waves. There are some parts of the day when in fact there is quite a bit of empty space in A and G. We see more and more utilization of those times. Also there will be some overflow gates built in T1 for international use should they be needed (as they already are at peak).

International carriers operate once a day, so it's relatively easier to spread them around. That said, don't forget that domestic carriers also use the A gates. Alaska, Hawaiian, Sun Country and Jetblue operate with multiple daily flights to multiple destinations. This weighs down on Int'l ops and the said "full and congested" capacity.
 
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SFOA380
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:34 pm

New T-1 will have six international swing gates. This will provide additional capacity on the "A" side (non-Star). This obviously won't improve the situation on the "G" side which serves United and Star Alliance. T-3 is 100% United and has two boarding areas, E & F. E was completely rebuilt a couple years ago and F is starting soon. When F is renovated, additional international capacity will be added. It's bad now because the T-1 improvements aren't a renovation. It's a complete ground-up rebuilt and will take around 8 years to complete all the planned elements. Nothing can or will be done about the runways. It is what it is. Improvements in technology are already having a positive impact on the poor runway configuration and hopefully one day the lack of separation won't matter a bit! It's a fantastic and ever-improving airport handicapped by its runways... SJC and OAK can both expand (and they will) as our population grows...
 
Airnerd
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:37 pm

The last time SFO seriously proposed a runway reconfiguration was 1999-2001.
See: https://www.quora.com/Why-does-SFO-only ... -boom-eras

There's just no way to do it without filling in a lot of the San Francisco Bay. And there's just no way the community is going to allow that. The proposal died after 9/11 and the dot-com bubble crash.

Those runways are what they are for the foreseeable future. OAK is the only real opportunity for airside (and terminal) expansion close-in to the Bay. That airport has way more potential than currently being used.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:51 pm

The construction of the Bay Area airports relatively close to the cities they serve may have attracted more passengers at the beginning, but it really bit them in the long run, especially SFO. SJC could expand even more than they already are, but they don't have much space outside of the airport to do so. OAK is the only airport with a good amount of space that could be built on, and has practically no transcontinental service. However, it seems that airlines, mainly BA and LH, will use SJC as a fallback, and I seriously doubt that airlines will ever be attracted to OAK.
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ordell
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:02 pm

Having lived there I can tell you there is simply no place to put an international scale airport unless it's a) south of San Jose, b) north of the GG Bridge, or c) out by Livermore on the 580. All would be very far from the city and would be a DIA-like situation.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:09 pm

ordell wrote:
Having lived there I can tell you there is simply no place to put an international scale airport unless it's a) south of San Jose, b) north of the GG Bridge, or c) out by Livermore on the 580. All would be very far from the city and would be a DIA-like situation.


Correct. AND let's not forget that unlike the land east of Denver, the SF Bay area is not known for its wide-open flat spaces. It's also some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

What is really needed is a change to the FAA regulations to allow aircraft to land in parallel even in cloudy weather. That would fix the majority of SFO's problems. LAX has four runways but they typically use the outer two for arrivals and the inner two for departures so that there is no issue of visual separation. The intersection is not as big a deal as people might think, SFO Tower is very good at staggering their use.
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Airnerd
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:21 pm

ordell wrote:
Having lived there I can tell you there is simply no place to put an international scale airport unless it's a) south of San Jose, b) north of the GG Bridge, or c) out by Livermore on the 580. All would be very far from the city and would be a DIA-like situation.


I think you might be overly optimistic here, unless by south of San Jose you mean 40 miles or more to the south, past Gilroy on the garlic fields. The Livermore/Pleasanton Valley is developed to the point now that it would be nearly impossible to get enough land together for a major airport, and north of the Golden Gate is mostly mountains unless you're talking about the primo wine country in Napa and Sonoma - which again seems an extremely unlikely place to assemble ten thousand or more flat acres. Really the only place to do a brand new DEN-style super airport is out in the Central Valley. Near Stockton, Tracy, Vacaville... And by that time, you're almost to SMF! (which BTW has plenty of room to expand).
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:31 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Could an airside ferry between SFO and OAK work?


Kind of a fascinating idea. Unfortunately, it's ~10 miles of water to cross and to get expected headways for typical shuttle services, it would probably just cost way too much. They'd probably have to buy 8+ diesel burning boats and hire (expensive) crew for them.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:36 pm

masgniw wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
Could an airside ferry between SFO and OAK work?


Kind of a fascinating idea. Unfortunately, it's ~10 miles of water to cross and to get expected headways for typical shuttle services, it would probably just cost way too much. They'd probably have to buy 8+ diesel burning boats and hire (expensive) crew for them.


Also a 30-45 minute trip. The ferries aren't all that insurmountable; there is an extensive ferry network on the Bay as it is.

But it would introduce a new level of complexity because if you're flying into SFO and then have to connect to a ferry to a flight out of OAK, the airline has to take all that into account during your reservation and, being as how this would be a unique arrangement in the entire world, that would be really complicated for the airlines.
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redzeppelin
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:38 pm

Will we ever see commercial service back at Concord? As a reliever/regional airport to serve Contra Costa county? I'm an outsider, but it seems like the area should be able to support service to major intrastate destinations (LAX, SAN) and western hubs (SEA, SLC, PHX, DEN).
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:27 pm

Airnerd wrote:
ordell wrote:
Having lived there I can tell you there is simply no place to put an international scale airport unless it's a) south of San Jose, b) north of the GG Bridge, or c) out by Livermore on the 580. All would be very far from the city and would be a DIA-like situation.


I think you might be overly optimistic here, unless by south of San Jose you mean 40 miles or more to the south, past Gilroy on the garlic fields. .


There is quite a lot of room south of San Jose. Coyote Valley, to start, was meant to be developed in the late 90's until the bust of '99. Not that I think it would be the best place for a new airport but space is there.
 
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Aeroflot777
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:41 pm

redzeppelin wrote:
Will we ever see commercial service back at Concord? As a reliever/regional airport to serve Contra Costa county? I'm an outsider, but it seems like the area should be able to support service to major intrastate destinations (LAX, SAN) and western hubs (SEA, SLC, PHX, DEN).


Even though it's no PSA / USAir, or even American Eagle in later years... for what it's worth, JetSuite operates commercial service from Concord to both Burbank and Las Vegas, though the latter connects in BUR.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:49 pm

Airnerd wrote:
ordell wrote:
Having lived there I can tell you there is simply no place to put an international scale airport unless it's a) south of San Jose, b) north of the GG Bridge, or c) out by Livermore on the 580. All would be very far from the city and would be a DIA-like situation.


I think you might be overly optimistic here, unless by south of San Jose you mean 40 miles or more to the south, past Gilroy on the garlic fields. The Livermore/Pleasanton Valley is developed to the point now that it would be nearly impossible to get enough land together for a major airport, and north of the Golden Gate is mostly mountains unless you're talking about the primo wine country in Napa and Sonoma - which again seems an extremely unlikely place to assemble ten thousand or more flat acres. Really the only place to do a brand new DEN-style super airport is out in the Central Valley. Near Stockton, Tracy, Vacaville... And by that time, you're almost to SMF! (which BTW has plenty of room to expand).


It's been a few years since I lived there so I will take your word for it. My point was the Peninsula is simply no-go.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:11 pm

masgniw wrote:
Kind of a fascinating idea. Unfortunately, it's ~10 miles of water to cross and to get expected headways for typical shuttle services, it would probably just cost way too much. They'd probably have to buy 8+ diesel burning boats and hire (expensive) crew for them.


The only way something like that would work is if there were a 2nd transbay tube between SFO and OAK and even then it still would be a 10-15 minute ride - and still not worth the infrastructure cost, unless it were outside security and just part of BART. That being said, it would be an interesting way to connect to international flights at SFO from OAK.

ordell wrote:
It's been a few years since I lived there so I will take your word for it. My point was the Peninsula is simply no-go.


Anyone want to propose doing a Big Dig and putting a big stretch of 101 underground? :o
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MaxxFlyer
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:22 pm

Airnerd wrote:
The last time SFO seriously proposed a runway reconfiguration was 1999-2001.
See: https://www.quora.com/Why-does-SFO-only ... -boom-eras

There's just no way to do it without filling in a lot of the San Francisco Bay. And there's just no way the community is going to allow that. The proposal died after 9/11 and the dot-com bubble crash.

Those runways are what they are for the foreseeable future. OAK is the only real opportunity for airside (and terminal) expansion close-in to the Bay. That airport has way more potential than currently being used.


I recall seeing this this with several variations on runways being moved for more separation. Aside from environmental concerns, the cost would be astronomical.

I also have a printout I found somewhere around the same times these configs were floated, of linking SFO-OAK via under the bay rail terminal to terminal, but not part of BART. The idea was OAK would carry more of the intrastate and LCC traffic with SFO getting the premium. It was also when people were saying WN would never, ever fly into SFO again.

Somehow, they really need to get some more gates on the G side, but that too seems unattainable for the present.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:50 pm

Nobody has mentioned this yet but how about an expansion of the Sonoma County airport (KSTS) that is just north of Santa Rosa, California and about 60 miles north of the greater Bay Area? This airport already sees some commercial service (Horizon and Allegiant) and with an extension of the runways and upgrade of the facilities could possibly see more.
 
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SFOA380
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:07 pm

ChristopherS wrote:
The construction of the Bay Area airports relatively close to the cities they serve may have attracted more passengers at the beginning, but it really bit them in the long run, especially SFO. SJC could expand even more than they already are, but they don't have much space outside of the airport to do so. OAK is the only airport with a good amount of space that could be built on, and has practically no transcontinental service. However, it seems that airlines, mainly BA and LH, will use SJC as a fallback, and I seriously doubt that airlines will ever be attracted to OAK.


San Jose has another 12-gate expansion ready to roll as soon as traffic warrants.
 
Airnerd
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:11 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
Nobody has mentioned this yet but how about an expansion of the Sonoma County airport (KSTS) that is just north of Santa Rosa, California and about 60 miles north of the greater Bay Area? This airport already sees some commercial service (Horizon and Allegiant) and with an extension of the runways and upgrade of the facilities could possibly see more.


Yeah, I expect to see STS continue to grow as a small regional airport serving Marin and Sonoma Counties. But it's so far away from the major population centers of San Francisco, the East Bay, and South Bay (it's 80 miles from SFO on very congested highways) that I'd be surprised if it ever ended up getting more than a handful of flights to western hubs. But I do think it will continue to take a small share of the region's demand and if I lived in Santa Rosa or Marin, I'd definitely consider it over trying to get to SFO or OAK.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:11 am

mham001 wrote:
Airnerd wrote:
ordell wrote:
Having lived there I can tell you there is simply no place to put an international scale airport unless it's a) south of San Jose, b) north of the GG Bridge, or c) out by Livermore on the 580. All would be very far from the city and would be a DIA-like situation.


I think you might be overly optimistic here, unless by south of San Jose you mean 40 miles or more to the south, past Gilroy on the garlic fields. .


There is quite a lot of room south of San Jose. Coyote Valley, to start, was meant to be developed in the late 90's until the bust of '99. Not that I think it would be the best place for a new airport but space is there.


There wouldn't be enough room. The coyote valley is long, but narrow, with hills and mountains all over the place. I can't imagine it being attractive as a replacement for SFO due to distance. It's more likely that SJC will catch the overflow.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:22 am

San Jose has another 12-gate expansion ready to roll as soon as traffic warrants.


The south concourse of terminal B. I'm sure the assumption was always that the new gates would be primarily domestic flights. If the international traffic trend continues, they'll need to consider a better and larger international terminal as part of that expansion.
 
flyrocoak
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:42 am

I would like to see a BART style transbay tube that crosses the bay and has one line comprised of direct, dedicated, in terminal access between SFO and OAK for passengers already past security, and then also have the tube/tracks accommodate a regular BART line that bypasses the airports and simply connects the system (existing Coliseum and SFO stations). Two purposes for the BART tube, and then start integrating SFO and OAK. It would alleviate the need for runway expansion at SFO, as OAK has capacity and the solution provides the long desired second Tranbay tube. Essentially SFO and OAK would be like separate terminals in the same airport, connected by a 7 minute train, shorter than it takes me to get across many airport terminals.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:00 am

flyrocoak wrote:
I would like to see a BART style transbay tube that crosses the bay and has one line comprised of direct, dedicated, in terminal access between SFO and OAK for passengers already past security,

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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flyrocoak
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:09 am

DocLightning wrote:
flyrocoak wrote:
I would like to see a BART style transbay tube that crosses the bay and has one line comprised of direct, dedicated, in terminal access between SFO and OAK for passengers already past security,

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Would you like a pony, a day named after you, and a statue with your $3-10Bn order?



I didn't say it would be cheap! ;) But, then consider the cost of a new runway in the bay, and that it serves two purposes. I'll just take the day, you can keep the pony :D
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:16 am

LA needs a new airport waaaaay more than SF.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:27 am

flyrocoak wrote:
I didn't say it would be cheap! ;) But, then consider the cost of a new runway in the bay, and that it serves two purposes. I'll just take the day, you can keep the pony :D


But it wouldn't increase the runway count. It would just merge two airports. Would be a lot cheaper for the City to encourage non-hub airlines to make more use of OAK.
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:53 am

gregn21 wrote:
LA needs a new airport waaaaay more than SF.

What is your logic? Airside, LAX works well, and should be good for an eventual 15% growth with minimal pain; it also has 4+ "reliever" airports. Airside SFO is really tight, and growing by 15% seems like a pipe dream. Regional airspace all seems to cause other issues, but might not be a limiting factor.

Landside, LAX is worse, although the problems can be solved easily enough... it is "only money." (Tear down the parking structures and build a better APM with remote terminal.) The money it would take to do a remote terminal is an order of magnitude less than trying to relocate the airport and support infrastructure.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:27 am

I don't understand the need for a multi-billion $ OAK-SFO connection when you can do it on BART today in about 1 HR 15 min. It would be nice if BART were designed for express trains that can skip stations and pass other trains like in the NYC subway, but that would take some passing tracks. That would still be far less costly then a new transbay tube.

Maybe someday when the current transbay tube needs to be enlarged a southern route would be possible.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:22 am

Runway configuration and weather are becoming less and less of a limiting factor at SFO thanks to new technology. Whereas before the only way to bring pairs of arrivals in to SFO in IMC would have been to build another parallel to the 28's out in the bay, now new technology has allowed for aircraft to get closer and closer to one another in IMC... It started with SOIA, then CSP(.308) and now NASA, Mitre and Boeing are working on projects like GBAS and Dependent Approaches, and all of these are increasing arrival rates at SFO during low ceilings and visibility. Dependent approaches will, in theory, allow 2 properly equipped aircraft to fly side by side down CAT1 minimums in IMC. This will almost eliminate the fog and low ceiling delays that SFO incurs. So no, building into the bay is not needed to increase runway capacity. What SFO does need is more gates. Increasingly more and more aircraft are landing and holding for occupied gates, and their wait times are getting longer and longer. Airlines refuse to spread out their scheduled arrivals in a way that would prevent this, so my solution would be to wrap taxiway Y around to where Twy B5 is now and knock down all the parking and air cargo buildings in that area and extend Terminal 3 out towards taxiway Y. I doubt they would ever do something like that, but that's one of the only ways I can see to add significantly more gates without building a remote terminal.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:55 am

West of Bolinas directly at the coast seems to be a fine undeveloped area to build a new airport. With a proper highway it should be about the same distance from central San Francisco compared to the current airport. Add a nice tunnel and you can even connect all the communities north of Oakland in the same time to that new airport.

Purely hypothecial of course, I don't know if the area around Bolinas would be suitable for an airport and if this isn't some nature conservation area.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:13 am

^
Point Reyes National Seashore would be just a few miles to the north, and is home to all manner of protected wildlife. I doubt the artiste hippies and rich lawyers residing in Bolinas and Stinson Beach would be too tickled about any jet (even 787) noise to boot...
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Aeroflot777
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:30 am

CARST wrote:
Purely hypothecial of course, I don't know if the area around Bolinas would be suitable for an airport and if this isn't some nature conservation area.


This area is part of National and State parks, it's all protected. Plus hills and mountains all around, no way you can touch this land, and definitely no way to build any sort of roadways beyond what is already congested up there on any sunny day when everyone goes to the parks and beaches.

There really is no alternative area here to build a brand new airport. SFO it is, we can only hope for runway expansion whenever that will be. Or technological advances.
 
Airnerd
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:40 pm

rickabone wrote:
Increasingly more and more aircraft are landing and holding for occupied gates, and their wait times are getting longer and longer. Airlines refuse to spread out their scheduled arrivals in a way that would prevent this,

This sounds like a case for slot control at SFO.
 
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:10 pm

There is very little room if any to build in the immediate Bay Area, so rule out a new airport! The distances would be too long. SFO has room to expand. Granted new runways would be ideal, but almost impossible now. Gates are the primary issue now as rickabone stated! Planes are holding too long waiting for a gate. SFO has in one of it's plans included an addition to the G side pier. The addition adds a walkway beside the garage along the side and opens up to a terminal which looks to include 6 gates? This would be where the current catering trucks and parking is. The problem is when? in 5 years, 10 years after terminal 1 is done? They need to be able to do more then 1 serious project at a time which would mean getting started very soon.

The issue is really that SFO for years has been focused on improving the "experience" lighting, food, etc. This has been great, and made some fantastic terminals, but Gate additions have not been the priority. Now they have to seriously look at building out the airport to include satillite terminals which could be placed on the other side of rwy 28 where the private plans are parked. A domestic terminal built with around 20 gates, would allow some domestic gates in the Main terminals to be converted to international. They could build a wide pier type structure to sit the private planes over the bay on the backside. The pier would have a minor impact on the Bay, and could support this transition. Their is a road that goes by their already so that could be altered to include the addition in traffic, and the terminal train could be extended out their also.
 
AirFiero
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:21 pm

Yes, SFO can be expanded this way, that way, and NASA can come up with new ways to squeeze in more instrument approaches. Or airlines could simply stop trying to cram all of the bay areas demand for air travel into already overcrowded SFO and start using the unused capacity at SJC, SFO, and other airports in the area.
 
Kiwijason
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:13 pm

I live in the bay area. My house in in the East Bay. I work in Foster city so can watch the approach to SFO all day
1 hour on BART to SFO
30 Mins on BART to OAK
1 hr drive to SJC

The Majority of people in the Bay area don't live near SFO. More people live in the South bay near SJC and in the East bay and beyond near OAK.
A logical expansion for International flight capacity would be increasing flights at SJC and OAK which they are doing already.
Another transbay BART tube would be nice but 99% of it's capacity would be by commuters not travelers.
Whilst SFO does have visibility issues more frequently than SJC and OAK, it's at levels far less than most imagine.
 
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ordell
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:12 pm

There's just one fly in the ointment about SFO expanding. Both the San Andreas Fault and Hayward Fault, which runs through Oakland, are overdue for a big blow. You could theoritically see all 3 airports in the Bay Area taken out with a really bad jolt. SA and Hayward both run through San Jose. It would all depend on the epicenter but it would be possible for SFO, OAK and SJC to all be damaged and incapacitated. So an airport far from fault lines would not be a bad idea.
 
Airnerd
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:11 pm

Image

I'm afraid you're not going to get away from faults in the Bay Area until you get well into the Central Valley... Another vote for "Super Airport Sacramento"?
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:37 pm

There's more available real estate at Oakland than at SFO. I'm thinking a compromise could be reached with enviromentalists about filling in the bay on the east side to allow runway and terminal expansion at Oakland, if SFO was shut down and turned over to the city for different kinds of usage. It's got to be some serious value to that land. The Oakland side's land value is way lower.

Regarding ferries, it doesn't have to be that expensive and difficult. Electrical ferries is actually a thing now, and we're testing them out in Norway. So far it's working really well. I'm betting the enviromentalists would love those. A ferry connection from Candlestick Point very close to the James Lick Freeway, as well as from SF downtown area up north, directly over to a ferry terminal within a new airport terminal at Oakland would give citizens a hassle free, relaxed way to get to the airport. And it would free up parking space at Oakland.
 
nry
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:53 pm

babastud wrote:
The issue is really that SFO for years has been focused on improving the "experience" lighting, food, etc. This has been great, and made some fantastic terminals, but Gate additions have not been the priority.


Adding gates and amenities for passengers are not tradeoffs. They can be done at the same time. In fact, the T3 East redevelopment added 3 gates. I'm not sure why you think focus on the experience negatively impacts gate expansion. You can, and should, do both.

jetbuddy wrote:
There's more available real estate at Oakland than at SFO. I'm thinking a compromise could be reached with enviromentalists about filling in the bay on the east side to allow runway and terminal expansion at Oakland, if SFO was shut down and turned over to the city for different kinds of usage. It's got to be some serious value to that land. The Oakland side's land value is way lower.


Very unlikely. No way that San Francisco is going to "give up" its airport to another city. All airports in the Bay Area are managed separately - no LAWA-equivalent here. Furthermore, environmentalists are against any and all landfill in the bay, regardless of side or proximity. And finally, land around OAK may be "cheaper" but not by much compared to San Mateo County.
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ucdtim17
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:14 am

There's not going to be any new BART tube (or any other train) between the airports. Any new rail crossing of the bay will be geared towards commuters between Oakland and downtown SF, as there is probably 20x the demand there as there is for an airport route. And there won't be any new runways built on fill for reasons mentioned above. OAK has plenty of capacity with existing runways and room for terminal growth. SAN does 20 mil passengers on one runway, so OAK probably has a ways to go before traffic becomes a problem on 12/30 and if it does, the North field runways can probably handle some commercial traffic. OAK is more convenient for more people than SFO but until airlines run into real capacity constraints at SFO, they appear to be happy to keep growing there and ignoring OAK (WN being the exception, continuing to grow at OAK).
 
sccutler
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:37 am

DocLightning wrote:
flyrocoak wrote:
I would like to see a BART style transbay tube that crosses the bay and has one line comprised of direct, dedicated, in terminal access between SFO and OAK for passengers already past security,

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Would you like a pony, a day named after you, and a statue with your $3-10Bn order?


Doc wins the Internet today!
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Freshside3
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:58 am

A long time ago, there was helicopter service between SFO and OAK. I presume that was dropped due to being costly. But with the Bay Area booming financially, perhaps there are now people who can afford(and willing) to pay for the convenience.

Also, the filling of the Bay is the main issue concerning runway expansion. But, as an alternative, wouldn't a "causeway" type runway(like what FNC--Funchal, Madeira has)over the Bay.......perhaps angle the current 28R, and restrict it to narrow-body and express carriers?
 
Fastphilly
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:08 am

Your already seeing the effects of overflow. The recent foreign airline expansion at SJC is proof of that. Those SJC flights are pure O&D driven so carriers are using smaller capacity airframes at SJC to alleviate congestion during the peak international flight banks at SFO.
 
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atypical
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Re: New San Francisco International Airport (hypothetical)

Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:30 am

SFO is currently gate restricted far more than runway constricted. After T-1 is completed there are going to few, if any, additional gates that can be added to the complex. I do however see opportunities for both increasing the number of gates and the runways:

1. In a few years the United maintenance base is up for lease renewal. If SFO needs additional gates this is prime real estate. UA certainly does not need its main maintenance base at SFO. AA does fine with its main base at TUL. UA would not need to move the base far if it wished to keep it in the area with SCK only 70 miles away sporting a 10,000 ft main runway. The decision here lies completely within the airport's control since it would simply not renew the lease. Since the change to the airport's physical footprint would be minor, the local political issues would be reduced to the absolute minimum (not to imply there would be none).

2. One plan that was seriously considered with LHR that gets no play in the bay area is with a floating airport. With SFO instead of the whole airport it could be just additional runways. This will certainly have a reduced environmental impact over fill but would it be enough? Given the technology is sufficiently mature only an environmental impact study will answer that question. I think that additional runways at SFO is not as impossible as some consider it.

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