Renton Municipal Airport (RNT/KRNT) is located roughly 20km southwest of the downtown of Seattle and is surrounded by living areas all over, except the northern side where it is Lake Washington instead. The lake allows to see water airplane movements as well here, but the major reason to come to visit Renton is the local Boeing facility – once producing B757 and B737, of which by now only latter is being produced here. After production, final assembly, painting and thest flights, the Boeings leave Renton and do not come back again here. However, you will see a lot of general aviation movements, as the airport is the base for roughly 240 of that size. Cessna 172s, Kodiaks and similar will be the common subjects between bigger movements here. The airport forms a triangle with Seattle Tacoma SEA and Boeing’s King Field BFI and both are quite quickly reachable.
Written by Huy Do. Last Update: 2020
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| (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
|16/34||1640m x 61m|
|Car/Public Transport||Car is highly recommended since the closest bus stop is about 30 minutes away|
|Drinks/Food||There are supermarkets and restaurants nearby.|
|Hotels||There are a few hotels around, but usually around 15-20 minutes by car.|
|Season||Summer season is better since it’s not overcasted/rainy and the north/south direction of the runway.|
|Security||No problems with security reported.|
|General Info||Usually 34 is in use in the summer/spring. 16 in winter/fall.|
|Spot #1 – Wiley Post Memorial – 16 Arrivals|
|WHERE||A small car park at the north-west end of the airport located just next to the “Will Rogers Wiley Post memorial seaplane base”. This little airport has its own code (W36), but is actually just a ramp for seaplanes to taxi up and down to lake Washington. You have a clear view on them (as you can see in the overviews) as well as onto approaching aircraft. However, there are fences in the way if you want to take pictures of aircraft making a 180.|
|WHAT||Runway 16 arrival as well as the seaplane base in front.|
|TIME||Good from afternoon till sunset.|
|MISC.||There are supermarkets and restaurants nearby for food/drink and restrooms. No issue with authority.|
35mm = side on B737 / 120mm = PC-12 / 250mm = Cessna 172
|Spot #2 – South-west carpark – 34 Movements + nearby Aprons/Taxiways|
|WHERE||This spot is basically just a car park located at the south-west end of the airport off Rainier Avenue North. Park in there and search your favourite position along its eastern front. You are watching down to the airport so a free view of the action is granted.|
|WHAT||Runway 34 arrival/departure, Alpha taxiway for small general aviation traffic, a few 737 parking stalls on the West and East side of the runway, Boeing’s paint hangar.|
|TIME||Good from afternoon til sunset|
|MISC.||There are supermarkets and restaurants at the next bigger junction for food/drink and restrooms. No issue with authority, but the police normally locks up the parking at night. Thus night shots are not really recommendable, as you may cause some trouble. There are also quite a few homeless people around all day, because the parking spot is next to a homeless shelter.|
737s parking on the West side parking spots = 20mm / 737 taxiing/parking on the East side of the runway depending on the exact spot > 120mm
|Spot #3 – Perimeter Rd – 34 Arrivals and Line-Ups + nearby Taxiway and Apron movements|
|WHERE||Park your car at the “Pathfinder Park” which is next to the 34 approach and walk along the fence to get a good angle of the parked aircraft.
A few meters west of the carpark, aircraft will be over your head when they are on short final. You can get a picture of a 737 landing here with the blast fence art and airport name.
A few meters to the east you will find parts of interesting aprons with some exciting aircraft/liveries sometimes.
|WHAT||Runway 34 arrivals and partly departure or at least taxiway/Line-Up movements prior to 34 Departure.
In addition parked aircraft by Ace Aviation, usually Quest Kodiaks parked here before going to customers all over the world, so you might get to see some interesting paint schemes.
|TIME||Depends on what you wanna shoot, but mostly depends on the exact parking as well. However around noon is the best.|
|MISC.||There are supermarkets and restaurants nat the next bigger junction for food/drink and restrooms. No issue with authority. However, Boeing’s security might stop by and check on you if you hang out at the fence for too long, personally we’ve never seen them stop.|
18mm = B737 head on with Renton sign / B737 lining up = 40mm / Apron shots (depending on the aircraft’s parking position) > 100mm
Taken from various positions along the fence as marked on the map:
|Spot #4 – Cedar River Trail Park – 16 Arrivals + nearby Apron|
|WHERE||Cedar River Trail Park runs along the east side of the airport, between the airport and Boeing’s facility. Take Nishivak Ln, there you can park your car at the end/next to the park and walk along to find a good spot. Or walk just past the end of the trail back to Renton Rowing Center from where you can see the lake-side of Boeing’s Renton factory with 737s parked there.|
|WHAT||16 arrival, parked aircraft on the west side of the airfield. In addition also water planes on the nearby lake.|
|TIME||Good from morning til noon.|
|MISC.||It is a nice park to hang out, with benches, trees spending shadow and public restrooms.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Depends on how far out you want to take pictures of approaching aircraft, but anything up to 300mm will be fine:
B737 on the east side of the airport = 275mm