Airport expansion: But what about the 737s?

What about the 737s produced by Boeing here in Renton? Don’t they use the Renton Airport?

As the Renton Municipal Airport prepares its next 20-year Master Plan document, they may have to change the airport’s designation based on a larger class of airplanes coming and going.

Instead of small, propeller planes the airport may have to plan for an increased number of corporate jets using the field, leading to the need for a larger runway protection area.

But that begs the question: What about the 737s produced by Boeing here in Renton? Don’t they use the Renton Airport?

The answer is yes, they do use the field but not in a large-enough number to be considered the “design aircraft.”

According to Airport Manager Jonathan Wilson, an airfield must begin considering a plane for design aircraft designation when the take-offs and landings reach 500 in a year.

So far, the number of 737s using the Renton Municipal Airport each years has not reached the threshold, primarily because the 737s generally only use the airfield for a single take-off, with the flight landing at Boeing Field.

However, Boeing recently increased its production to 42 737s per month, or 504 per year, with plans to ramp up to 52 aircraft per month in 2018, which means the city may have to take the larger  commercial aircrafts into consideration in the next Master Plan update in the mid 2030s.

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