Rules for helipads in Seattle

Following a deadly helicopter crash in Seattle Tuesday morning, the city says it'll re-examine its policy on landing pads.

The city currently has 12 sites designated as helipads.

According to the city's Department of Planning and Development, the current code allows helipads in some commercial, downtown and industrial zones, but they're subject to certain limitations.

For instance, a helipad can only be approved for uses related to public service, emergency medical care, and news agencies.

Before 1993, Seattle allowed for private helipads, but changed the rules after concerns of "proliferation and potential for increased noise impacts," according to the DPD. Existing private helipads were grandfathered into the new policy.

"We obviously want to understand was this one that was permitted, this particular helipad, or was it one that was grandfathered in," Mayor Ed Murray said in a news conference on Tuesday. "If so, then maybe we need to go back and look at others that were grandfathered in."

The most recent helipad was granted in 2007 for Seattle Children's Hospital.

Stephanie Klein, Editor
Stephanie joined the team in February 2008. She has built the site into a two-time National Edward R. Murrow Award winner (Best Radio Website 2010, 2012).
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