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Airport Master Plan

Airport Master Plan FAQs

  What is the Renton Airport Master Plan?
An Airport Master Plan is a comprehensive, airport-wide study with the goal of developing a list of projects to meet future aviation demands. The Airport Master Plan was last completed in 1997 and was partially updated in 2009.

How is the Plan being updated? How long will it take?
The planning process will follow four main steps:

1.       Describe existing airport conditions and identify future facility needs. Alternatives will be outlined to meet these needs.

2.       Evaluate alternatives. Alternatives will be developed and evaluated based on a set of criteria.

3.       Incorporate public feedback. The community will be involved in reviewing alternatives and working papers throughout the planning process and feedback will be incorporated in the final Plan.

4.       Adopt final Plan. A final plan will be brought before Renton City Council for adoption in mid-2016.

What is the project schedule?
The master planning process began in the fall of 2014 and is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2016. Working papers that support the planning process will be developed and released periodically throughout the project. Please refer to the project schedule for approximate timing of working papers.

Once the plan is completed, when will improvements be made at the airport?

The final master plan will include a projected schedule of potential airport improvements based on identified needs, but actual project design and construction of future improvements will require subsequent City decisions and funding.

What can I do to stay informed and provide input?
We need to hear from you! Here’s how you can stay involved in the planning process:

·         Sign up to receive our email updates

·         Have a question or comment? Submit your thoughts to the planning team.

·         Attend an event

·         Read the Working Papers. The final Plan will be supported by a series of Working Papers.

How will flight patterns be addressed in the Plan?

General approach, departure, and touch-and-go flight patterns are illustrated on Figure A10 of Chapter A, Inventory of Existing Conditions.  The city of Renton has also developed voluntary noise abatement procedures for pilots operating aircraft in and out of the Renton Municipal Airport.  However, the city has no control over where aircraft fly once they are in the air and pilots operate per instructions from FAA air traffic controllers.  The current voluntary noise abatement procedures and flight patterns are not expected to change as a result of Master Plan recommendations.  However, during the Master Plan process, the city will be collecting data through an aeronautical survey and using this data to analyze the potential for improved instrument approach and departure procedures that take advantage of new technology and also have the potential to minimize noise impacts on surrounding neighborhoods.

Will capacity at the airport be considered? It seems like Boeing needs more space.
Yes, landside capacity (aircraft parking/storage) will be considered to determine appropriate facility requirements and needs.  Landside alternatives will be developed and considered following a determination of the preferred airfield alternative.  The draft Master Plan will include a Conceptual Development Plan (CDP) that describes the preferred alternatives (both airfield and landside) identified through the project’s technical and public process.

I’m concerned about noise, how will that be addressed in the Plan?
While the Airport Master Plan is technically not a noise study, the potential for changes in the noise environment as a result of various development alternatives will be considered. 

Who is paying for this?
The Airport Master Plan is funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with a local match from the city of Renton.





The Master Plan indicates that an FAA design code upgrade from B-II to D-III is necessary.  Does this mean the airport is unsafe?
While national FAA standards for airport design are intended to provide a safe, efficient and uniform system of airports, the fact that an airport does not meet a certain design standard does not mean the airport is unsafe.   However, it is the policy of the FAA to work with airport sponsors when design standard deficiencies are identified in order to enhance the level of safety provided to all users of the airport.  In the case of Renton Municipal Airport, the Master Plan has identified that the number of aircraft in the higher design category (D-III) now exceeds the level defined as regular operations, and that where possible, D-III standards should be met.  However, it may not be possible to meet all D-III standards due to physical constraints on and in the vicinity of the airport and the Master Plan process will help to determine where standards can be met.  Furthermore, FAA design standards does not limit or regulate the operations of aircraft.

Will the Airport be required by FAA to acquire all property underlying the RSA, ROFA and RPZs shown in Figure C6?
No, as stated on the disclaimer, the illustration is for study purposes only, based on national FAA standards, and is not necessarily intended for implementation.  Alternatives for meeting RSA, ROFA and RPZ standards will be considered in the Master Plan.  However, it is likely that meeting full standards is not feasible due to the physical constraints surrounding the Renton Municipal Airport including the lake to the north and the urban development to the south.  There are also a number of non-standard conditions that could potentially be eligible for FAA Modifications to Standards if, through special operational or other means, it can be shown that an acceptable level of safety is provided.

Figures C6, C7, and C8 in the Master Plan show RSA and ROFA extending off airport property to the north and south.  Does this mean these properties must be acquired?
No, as stated on the disclaimer, the illustrations are for study purposes only, based on national FAA standards, and are not necessarily intended for implementation.  While efforts should be made to bring an airport up to current FAA design standards, it may not be feasible to meet all current standards at an existing airport.  One purpose of the Master Plan is to develop and consider alternatives for meeting design standards including RSA and ROFA.  One example of an alternative that reduces the amount of physical land required off the ends of runway to meet RSA standards is Engineered Materials Arresting Systems (EMAS).  EMAS is essentially crushable concreate placed at the runway ends.  This is an alternative that will be considered in the Renton Airport Master Plan.

Figure C6 and C10 seem to indicate that there are existing incompatible land uses within the RPZs to the south of the Renton Municipal Airport.  Does this mean that the Airport will be acquiring these properties and removing these land uses?
No, as stated on the disclaimer, the illustrations are for study purposes only, based on national FAA standards, and are not necessarily intended for implementation.  FAA guidance on the subject of incompatible land uses within RPZs is continually evolving.  The current guidance indicates that where possible, land uses that involve congregations of people should be considered incompatible with normal airport operations and should be avoided.  In the case of existing incompatible RPZ land uses (such as those to the south of Renton Municipal Airport), these land uses should be reviewed prior to a triggering event (such as a runway extension, runway shift or runway design code upgrade) and alternatives be considered to address the incompatible land uses to the extent practicable.  Because the Master Plan is considering a design code upgrade, this requires alternatives be developed to address these potentially incompatible land uses in the planning process.