For Immediate Release
July 7, 2013
Contact: Kristie Greco
On July 6, 2013, weather conditions at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) allowed pilots to land by visually lining up for approach before landing.
On June 1, 2013, the FAA issued a notice to airmen (Notam) indicating that the glide slope system was scheduled to be out of service from June 1, 2013 to August 22, 2013 on Runways 28 left and 28 right. The glide slope system, which is not necessary for safe landing at SFO under visual flight rules, was being relocated as part of a runway safety improvement project.
The precision approach path indicator (PAPI) light system, which provides visual guidance information to help a pilot acquire and maintain the correct approach to a runway was operating at the time of the accident. The localizer, or radio frequency system which helps guide aircraft to land on the center line of the runway was operational as well. Neither of these systems is needed to support an approach and landing made under visual flight rules.
The FAA regularly monitors and maintains all of the airport's navigational aids to make sure they are accurate. While the ongoing runway safety project at SFO is underway, the FAA has operational Instrument Landing Systems available on its other runways to allow pilots to make safe instrument landings in low visibility conditions.