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Arrival and Departure Information for Helicopters and Seaplanes

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

The FAA has issued a FAQs page on their website with important information regarding the operation of drones and other unmanned aircraft near airports.  To be redirected to the FAA website on this topic, click here.  Contact the Airport Administration Office before operating an unmanned aircraft.

 Voluntary noise abatement procedures brochure:


 VFR Noise Abatement and VFR Arrival/Departure Routes Brochure - 2014-2015(PDF)

Procedures for Helicopters


  • Helicopters Arriving - enter the traffic pattern at or above 500 feet MSL and do not turn base leg closer than 1/2-mile.
  • Helicopters Departing - proceed straight out until 1/2-mile from the airport and 500 feet MSL before proceeding on course.

Procedures for Seaplanes


SeaplaneSeaplane (or floatplane) operations are located at the north end of the Renton Municipal Airport along the shore of Lake Washington. The seaplane base is a full-service facility, including a floating dock and launching ramp where aircraft can land on wheels, and if equipped with floats, depart from the water, or vice versa. It is listed separately in the seaplane base section of the Airman's Guide and used exclusively for aircraft.

  • The water level elevation at the seaplane base is estimated at 14 feet above sea level
  • The Seaplane Base Airport Reference Point (amphibious ramp) is located at Latitude 47 deg 30 min 00 sec North, Longitude 122 deg 13 min 05 sec West.
  • Caution - Localized shoaling around the docks and launch ramp.  Check water depth before using.

Seaplane Operations Procedures

  • All take-offs, landings and idle taxiing should be carried out within an area located east of an imaginary line connecting the seaplane dock and the south end of Mercer Island. The azimuth of this line is 320 degrees, magnetic, from the dock.
  • Pilots should enter and exit the seaplane operations area via east or west channel routes
  • Remain at or below 800 feet MSL while in the west channel to avoid King County International Airport airspace
  • No step taxiing
  • Floatplane speed limit within 100 yards of docks and/or shore is 8 kph (5 mph)


Approach Airfield

Ramp and Floating Dock Procedures

The following procedures have been adopted to prevent congestion on the amphibious ramp.

  • Arriving aircraft may be positioned on the amphibious ramp for refueling or removal only when the fuel or tow vehicle is present. The aircraft must immediately be removed from the water, depart or be relocated to a position on the floating dock after fueling.
  • After being placed in the water for departure, aircraft must immediately depart or be relocated to a position on the floating dock.
  • Aircraft positioned on the amphibious ramp must, at all times, be attended by a person responsible for and authorized to relocate the aircraft.
  • To decrease the possibility of fuel spills into Lake Washington, aircraft utilizing the seaplane base facilities should be refueled on land prior to being placed in the water or after being removed from the water.

Radio Frequencies

  • Renton ATCT ATCT/CTAF frequency: 124.7
  • ATIS frequency: 126.95
  • AirO UNICOM frequency: 122.95
  • ProFlight UNICOM frequency: 122.85
  • GROUND frequency: 121.60