Update: Now we know how much it costs to store wreckage at SFO. See end.
Like so many of us, San Francisco International Airport has experienced an unexpected guest who crashed at its place. Unlike us, that guest is Asiana Air Flight 214.
The charred husk of the Boeing 777 -- which crash-landed on July 6, killing three and injuring dozens -- was moved in the wee hours Friday morning to a remote stretch of airport land passengers in the terminals or whizzing by in automobiles cannot view. Asiana Air has been given until July 26 to transport the wreckage elsewhere.
SFO is charging Asiana rent for storing the wreckage. SFO and other entities have also initiated the process of billing the Korean-based airline for costs incurred following the lethal crash.
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SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said he'd get back to us with the rent for the ex-jet. Other costs the airport has incurred include last week's cleanup of spilled jet fuel and other materials emanating from the downed jet; as well as man-hours for airport personnel and police and fire crews working overtime.
United Airlines contracted with an airline salvage company to move the remains. The plane's fuselage was sliced into two sections near the wings, and three large cranes slowly hoisted the pieces several thousand feet to their current, temporary resting place. United, notes Yakel, runs a large maintenance operation at SFO and "had a ready, established contract at the airport for recovery." It's also an Asiana marketing partner.
SFO, United, and other entities who have taken on costs are in the process of recovering their expenditures from Asiana. Yakel has no estimate to disclose, though he says numbers are being added as we speak.
Portions of the wreckage, per the National Transportation Safety Board, must be retained for years to come. Asiana's near-term costs are also largely dependent on how intact it chooses to keep the jet's overall fuselage.
The clock is ticking. SFO, Yakel says, is not inclined to extend its July 26 deadline. "We've given them that time to get their plan together, but we're gonna hold firm to that."
Update: Yakel says the going rate for storing airplane wreckage at SFO is $15,000 for two weeks.