Third of four runways reopens at SFO, officials say
More than 24 hours after the Asiana Airlines plane crash, San Francisco International Airport reopened the third of the airport’s four runways, officials said Sunday.
The reopening of runway 28-R should boost flight volume to as many as 30 takeoffs an hour, officials said on Twitter.
Airport and federal officials confirmed that the runway was reopened at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
“Some good news!” @FlySFO tweeted. “28R is now open!”
Officials said earlier that reopening the runway would decrease wait times.
After the crash, SFO shut down all runways, typical protocol after a plane crash and causing all flights to be delayed or canceled.
Two runways reopened about three hours after the crash. Some international flights began operating again Saturday night. SFO’s restaurants stayed open all night Saturday to cater to stranded travelers who stood for hours in long lines to rebook their flights.
Shortly after the thrid runway reopened Sunday afternoon, federal officials offered new details about the crash Saturday that killed two Chinese teenagers and injured more than 180 other people on board.
Asiana Flight 214 was flying significantly under its target speed and was “approaching a stall” moments before it crash-landed. Federal officials said the target speed was 137 knots.
The flight data recorder indicated “throttles at idle and airspeed slowed below the target air speed,” said Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Hersman said data indicated that the aircraft was approaching a stall. She said there was a call to the crew to increase speed seven seconds before impact.
“The throttles were advanced a few seconds prior to impact and the engines appeared to respond normally,” she said.
Moments later the jetliner’s tail hit the seawall before slamming into the airport runway.
Asked if pilot error may been a factor, Herdsman said “everything is on table right now. Nothing has been ruled out. We will not speculate and will not draw conclusions” until more is known.
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