Photo showing airplane taking off above treetops.

Why the need for the Flight Corridor Safety Program?

The Flight Corridor Safety Program’s purpose is to maintain the flight paths to and from SEA by removing obstructions that would impede safe and efficient takeoffs and landings. To date, all obstructions identified around SEA have been trees.

These trees either were penetrating the airport’s airspace or were expected to grow tall enough, within approximately the next five years, to penetrate the airport’s airspace and pose a hazard to flight operations.

The FAA requires the Port of Seattle to ensure there are no obstructions on or around SEA that could affect flight safety. Obstructions hazardous to air navigation are defined by the FAA as features that “affect the safe and efficient use of navigable airspace and the operation of planned or existing air navigation and communication facilities.”

Washington state law expressly identifies obstructions that “in effect reduce the size of the area available for the landing, taking-off, and maneuvering of aircraft thus tending to destroy or impair the utility of the airport and the public investment therein” as “airport hazards.” This provision also declares that the creation or establishment of airport hazards is a “public nuisance.”

Photo showing airplane taking off above treetops.

Example of FAA Protected Surfaces

Diagram showing an example of approach surface areas protected by the FAA.

50:1 Approach Surface Example

(not to scale)

Click image to enlarge.

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