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 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 early 2019.

What is the project schedule?

 Project Schedule revised October 2018

The master planning process began in the fall of 2014 and, was reinitiated in 2018 and is scheduled for completion in 2019. Working papers that support the planning process will be developed and released periodically throughout the project.

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.

How can I stay informed and provide input?

Here's how individuals can stay involved in the planning process:

  • 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?

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.

How will noise be addressed?

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.

Airside alternatives 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?

Alternatives are for study purposes only, and based on national FAA standards. The current FAA guidance requires that 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.

Alternatives consider ways to reduce off-airport impacts, to the degree possible. 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.

Will the city acquire properties identified in its preferred airside alternative? When would these acquisitions occur, and what is the process?

The Master Plan process will result in an approved conceptual development plan and airport layout plan that will be used to guide future airport improvements over the next 20 years.

Any actions following the Master Plan would be subject to available funding and trigger additional formal environmental review. It’s expected that an environmental review process (Environmental Impact Statement) would take up to three years to complete, followed by project design. The earliest that acquisition would occur is 2026.

Actions that are funded by federal dollars and involve property acquisition would be required to follow the federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (Uniform Act). The Uniform Act is the federal law that provides minimum real property acquisition policies and requires the uniform and equitable treatment of persons displaced as a result of a federally assisted project. The Uniform Act process requires certified appraisals and review appraisals, good faith negotiations, and prompt and equitable relocation assistance.

Additional information about property acquisition procedures following Uniform Act regulations is available on the FAA website.

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