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Olympia Airport FAQs

The Olympia Regional Airport does not have commercial passenger airline service.  The closest airports with passenger service are Seattle (SEA) and Portland (PDX). There are also currently no charter flight companies based at the Olympia Regional Airport.

In 2010, the Port of Olympia Commission approved the purchase and installation of controlled access vehicle gates at the airport. For the safety of the public and security of the facility, entry is permitted only by authorized users of the airport businesses and aircraft storage areas.

The Olympia Regional Airport operates under a general aviation security plan adopted by the Port Commission. This plan was developed by committee after consultation with the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation DivisionFederal Aviation AdministrationNational Association of State Aviation Officials and review of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) publication on security guidelines for general aviation airports.

Since the Olympia Airport does not currently have passenger air service, there is no TSA office on site. For questions about security requirements at SeaTac or other airports, please view the TSA website or SeaTac’s travelers website.

There are currently no charter services based out of the Olympia Regional Airport. 

Yes. Since 2011, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) has seen an increase in the number of helicopters based at the former Ft. Lewis facility by about 25%. The units train both day and night. In addition to training at the regional airports, they train on routes and in areas not associated with a specific airport.

In 2011, the Port hired Mead & Hunt, an airline service consultant, to evaluate industry trends and do a market analysis of the likelihood of regaining air service at the Olympia Regional Airport. Their research indicated current industry trends make it unlikely for Olympia to obtain new service. Airline operating costs are higher in small markets and airlines are reducing short haul flying and airline capacity (available seats). Consequently, the Port is not actively recruiting passenger service at the Airport. The Port is vigilant for changes in market conditions that might present opportunities in the future.

Citizens can provide airlines with feedback through the usual customer service methods airlines have in place for their customers.

Similar to the airline industry, charter companies are market and profit margin driven. When a charter company identifies a market, that demand will drive the decision to expand to Olympia.

Scenic flights are available within 25 miles of the Olympia Regional Airport. Currently Glacier Aviation is authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct scenic flights.

Scenic flights are available within 25 miles of the Olympia Regional Airport. Currently Glacier Aviation is authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct scenic flights.

No, the airport runways, taxiways and parking areas are not designed for large passenger or cargo aircraft. In some cases, exceptions can be made for a one-time operation for a special circumstance such as an aircraft engineering modification.

There are no plans to extend the runway. Should air traffic forecasts change in the future, the runway needs will be reevaluated.

Federal Aviation Regulations state: Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below an altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

 

Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, no lower than 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

 

Over uncongested areas, no lower than 500 feet above the surface. Over open water or sparsely populated areas, aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

 

Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums listed above if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface.

No. Aircraft arrive or depart to and from the airport with no prior notice. The airport is open 24 hours daily.

Military aircraft have training areas and training routes throughout the region. Often, military flights just seem lower because aircraft are larger and/or louder, and studies have shown that people react more strongly to noise at nighttime. For more information citizens can call:

  • Joint Base Lewis McChord noise complaint line at (253) 967-0852 or the Public Affairs Office at (253) 967-0146 and (253) 967-0158.

Yes, the Airport cannot restrict the military from training here. The Port of Olympia is required to operate the Airport in accordance with the deed obligations that accompany the transfer of federal surplus property (the Airport) and the Grant Assurances that accompany the acceptance of federal Airport Improvement Program funds.

 

Specifically the airport deed requires….“all of the transferred property called the “airport” shall be used for public airport purposes on reasonable terms without unjust discrimination and without grant or exercise of any exclusive right within the meaning of the Civil Aeronautics Act on 1938.” This deed obligation is in perpetuity.

 

The Grant Assurance for Airport Sponsors #22 Economic Nondiscrimination states…“sponsor will make the airport available as an airport for public use on reasonable terms and without unjust discrimination to all types, kinds, and classes of aeronautical activities.”

 

The Grant Assurance for Airport Sponsors #27 Use by Government Aircraft states…“sponsor will make available all of the facilities of the airport and all of those useable for landing and takeoff of aircraft to the United States for use by government aircraft in common with other aircraft at all times.”

See photos of the types of aircraft that typically use the Airport, and types of commercial service aircraft capable of using the Airport.  Aircraft Photos

The following reports provide information about the economic impacts of the Olympia Regional Airport.

 

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Olympia Regional Airport Staff

Rudy Rudolph, A.A.E.

Port Operations and Airport Director

Lorie Watson

Airport Office & Port Records Administrator

Contact Olympia Regional Airport

Thank you for your interest in the Olympia Airport. To receive information about the Airport or to provide input please fill out the form below.

Disclaimer: This form is not a Public Records Request, if you would like to request public records please fill out the separate form by clicking here.