The Next Regular Meeting of the Port of Orcas Commission is scheduled for Thursday, February 13th at 5:00 PM at the Airport Conference Room, 147 Schoen Lane, Eastsound, WA.

2020 02 13 Agenda

(The Agenda above was posted on 2-9-2020  @ 12:46 PM)

The Teleconference with DOWL will not occur at this meeting.  The questions are best directed to and answered by the FAA and we are requesting they come to a meeting to ensure public access to the discussion and conversation.

The read-ahead questions the commissioners submitted to DOWL for their discussion in the meeting are contained in the PDF file below:

2020 02 08 Commissioner Questions for DOWL

Planting Project

The project documents for the wetland mitigation are below.


Port of Orcas Master Plan Meeting Cancellation

After talking with DOWL, the Port of Orcas Commissioners have made the decision to reschedule the meeting arranged for November 13, 2019, to a future date in January. This special Port meeting was scheduled to give the Airport Master Plan Team an opportunity to present to the Port Commissioners an update on the status of the project and to communicate the next steps necessary to complete and publish a draft report. In addition, there was going to be a question and answer session for the attending public. This meeting along with the three public outreach meetings that took place in January, June, and September of 2018, are in the scope of work originally proposed by DOWL. The current board of Commissioners is rescheduling the special Port meeting because of the upcoming elections and possible change of four seats on the Board. After the newly elected commissioners are sworn in at the regularly scheduled port meeting on January 9, 2020, it will then be up to the new Board of Commissioners to reschedule the Master Plan meeting.

Please ensure you stay informed of the Master Plan Report progress by signing up for the project e-mails at: orcasmasterplan@dowl.com. Dowl will provide a project update via this list in the near future.

Dwight Guss, Airport Manager

Master Plan – click here to view the Master Plan information

Noise Abatement

Pilots – This last summer saw a modest increase in both formal and informal noise complaints.

I would ask you to please review and comply with our attached noise abatement procedures when conditions permit. (http://dev.portoforcas.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/NoiseAbatementBrochure.pdf )

To summarize and points of emphasis:

1- No turns after takeoff until either 1,100’ MSL or 1 Mile off-shore (whichever occurs first)

2- Cruise above 1,500’ AGL

Please avoid (a) arrivals at low altitude or (b) early turns to climb out … that overfly Fowler’s Cove (the old log dump, Indralaya, etc.), Crow Valley, or Cascade Lake/the Highlands below 1,500’ AGL.

The brochure is perhaps unrealistic in expecting no flight through Crow Valley, but would ask you to avoid doing so at low altitude (i.e. deviate towards the gravel pit instead of direct to Crescent Beach or Indian Island to/from West Sound).

For more information regarding the Airport Master Plan click here.

PRESS RELEASE: Orcas Island Airport Improvements to Meet Air Safety Requirements While Minimizing Undesirable Effects on the Local Community.

Eastsound, Washington, July 10, 2018

The Port of Orcas is currently preparing a master plan for Orcas Island Airport that will guide the direction of projects to bring the airport into compliance with safety standards for existing airport operations and to provide for the future needs of island residents and visitors over the next 20 years.

Because public involvement is a very important aspect of this process, the Port will hold a special commission meeting on July 26th at 3:30PM at the Eastsound Fire Station to hear public comment and answer questions and concerns.  To facilitate addressing these questions and concerns fully, accurately, and efficiently, please email detailed questions about the process and concerns to orcasairport@rockisland.com

The Orcas Island Airport master plan will present the short-, mid-, and long-term needs for the airport.  After the plan is completed an environmental document must be prepared to comply with State and Federal environmental regulations. Based on conversations with the FAA, it is anticipated that the projects may require an Environmental Impact Statement, which is the most extensive federal regulatory process.

The intent of the master planning process is to obtain information on the desires of the community and of those most affected by the airport.  The master planning process seeks to identify the present and future needs of the community for its airport and ability to meet FAA standards and to suggest reasonable methods for meeting those objectives. The FAA requires that the Airport document a plan to guide future operations.

In its present configuration, Orcas Island Airport does not meet the safety standards required to service aircraft currently using the airport such as the Cessna 208B Caravan.  Cessna Caravan operations make up a large and significant share of the air traffic serving Orcas Island.  Operators of regularly scheduled passenger and cargo flights to the island fly the Caravan because of its safety, dependability, and efficiency over the routes they commonly fly.  In developing alternatives that will bring Orcas Island Airport into compliance with operations already being conducted there, every attempt has been made to make the best use of existing airport property and facilities while minimizing the undesirable effects it may have on its neighbors.

While several alternatives have been proposed to comply with current safety standards while meeting the needs of the community, none of those alternatives includes any expansion of the airport to serve airplanes larger than those that have already been operating there for years.  No such expansion has been planned or contemplated.

Since January of this year, two open-house public meetings have been held locally to solicit input from the community regarding its desires for the airport. The comment period is being extended through August 3, 2018 to allow for additional input regarding the preferred development plan. To eliminate confusion regarding the alternative options, additional information will be provided on the project website ( http://www.portoforcas.com/master-plan/ ) and to the project contact list by July 16, 2018 to better explain FAA requirements and safety standards and to explain the alternative options.

All comments received by August 3, 2018 will be considered in development of the preferred alternative. A public open house will be held in September for the public to review and comment on the preferred alternative.

For more information about the project, the alternative options, and the project schedule please visit http://www.portoforcas.com/master-plan/

Another Camping Picture

Your camping view may vary!

Hangar 16

Hangar 16 may be available for rent.  It is approximately 48×48.  Contact Andre Souang at andre@sabinefinancialservices.com or 360-472-0473.

 Island Air Ambulance

Island Air Ambulance is a service of Island Air, a local company which has been providing aviation services to San Juan County for over 25 years.  Island Air recently created the Air Ambulance Membership Program as an affordable way for island residents and visitors to be sheltered from out-of-pocket costs that could be incurred from the flight portion of an emergency medical transport on one of their fixed-wing, air ambulance aircraft.  If you would like more information, please see their website at www.islandairambulance.com, call 360-378-2376 or email membership@islandairambulance.com


If you need a quart of oil (or 12) at Orcas, you can now buy it from your friendly airport manager.

  • $10/quart for Aeroshell 80W or 100W
  • $8/quart for Phillips X/C 20W50

Tax included.

Biplane, the Sequel!


Bikes for free use (donations encouraged)

  • We have bikes for use free of charge near the fuel pumps.  The last 4 of our CTAF will open the lock.  Please take the lock with you and use it…and bring the bike and the lock back.  If you like these bikes, donations are accepted in the fee boxes or the Port office.  We don’t have helmets but encourage you to use one.

Annotated Nautical Chart of Island Flying References

San Juans (Annotated) Nautical Chart pdf

Phone-Sized Ferry Schedule

I put this here because I think some visitors to this website might appreciate a “cut-down” version of the ferry schedule that can be read easily on a phone.  This is why I started making it in the first place.

2018 Fall Cropped

Need Power!!

— We now have a small 12/24V GPU (with both alligator clamps and a NATO plug) for “jump-starting” an airplane.  Stop by or call the office when needed.  After hours, call the Airport Manager’s Cell phone (the number is on my business card which is in a dispenser by the conference room door).  Based on the limitations of our insurance, use is at your own risk.

New and Noteworthy:

If you have airport pictures you would be willing to share, please email them to me at orcasairport@rockisland.com.