A blueprint for the future of the San Francisco and Oakland airports is being cleared for takeoff by regional planners.

The Regional Airport Planning Committee late last week gave the green light to the blueprint, which could mean filling in the San Francisco Bay to allow expansion of both airports’ runways.

Although only advisory, the group’s vote is echoed by political powerhouses such as San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who wants to extend the new runways two miles into the bay in order to alleviate worsening air traffic. San Francisco Airport is infamous for long flight delays attributable to high air-traffic volume and frequently foggy weather.

The plan would be subject to an in-depth environmental impact report before approval. Environmentalists decry the idea and say there are alternatives to expansion into the bay, but airport officials and air-traffic controllers maintain that the new development is crucial to the economic future of the San Francisco area as well as Silicon Valley.

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