"Making a Safe Airport Safer"

Welcome to the Monterey Regional Airport Runway Safety Area Improvements Project

RSA Project Start
Destination: Super Safe!

Alert: Final Phase of the Improvements has begun on August 19, 2015. There could be possible flight delays or cancellations when low weather cloud ceilings are in the area, due to  some of  the instrument approaches on Runway 10R being unavailable as part of the RSA project. Please check with your airline ahead of your scheduled flight for up-to-date flight status.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to your travel plans and we appreciate your patience during the construction improvements.

Phase Two: Airport West End (APRIL 2015-DECEMBER 2015)

Overall Anticipated Phasing of Schedule

A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) will be issued within 72 hours prior to any change or condition that will have an effect on flight operations. 

Phase 2 – West End (April 2015 – December 2015)


RSA Completion 

Project Overview

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a series of aircraft accidents around the country indicated the need for airports nationwide to enhance the safety of their runways. A Runway Safety Area (RSA) is the surface surrounding each end of a runway that provides safety margins for landing and departing aircraft in the event of an aircraft undershoot or overrun. To deter further loss of life, in 2005 Congress passed H.R. 3058 which states that airports must improve all Runway Safety Areas, to the extent practicable, by December 31, 2015.

The RSA on the Monterey Regional Airport's primary runway (10R-28L) did not meet the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prescribed dimensional standards as required by the 2005 Congressional mandate. To comply with this mandate, starting in 2006, the District developed and evaluated a number of alternatives to improve the RSAs on the primary runway at the Airport. In November 2013, after extensive environmental studies, the District approved a revised project and in December 2013, approved pre-construction site preparation plans.

Construction began in early 2014 and is expected to be completed in December 2015. The estimated cost of the Project is $52 million. The Project is being funded by the Airport Improvement and Passenger Facility Charge Programs.

When completed, this RSA Improvements Project will provide 100% RSAs at both ends of the Airport’s primary runway. These RSAs will make a safe Airport safer while meeting the FAA new standards.

The Airport District appreciates the support of local communities, businesses, Airport users and the travelling public during the design and development of this Project. The District will post updates on the Improvements Project as construction progresses and will provide construction schedules as they become available.


Phase One: Airport East End Completed (February 2014 – April 2015)

Phase 1 - East End (February 2014 - April 2015)

Construction for the Runway Safety Area (RSA) project began on the east end of Runway 10R-28L in February 2014 and was completed in April 2015. After the tree and shrub removal, an existing gate was modified to provide an entrance and exit along the Highway for construction trucks and equipment that needed to access the east end of the runway and hillside. Construction barriers were installed along the north side of Highway 68 to minimize disruptions to traffic on Highway 68. 

The work included in the first schedule within Phase One prepared and built up the low tiers of the retaining walls, which are designed to support the plateau for the installation of the Engineered Material Arresting Systems (EMAS) bed. Final improvement requirements included relocating the Vehicle Service Road (VSR). 

After the completion of the low tiers of the retaining walls, the upper tiers built and the VSR completed, the fill from the VSR was used to construct the retaining walls for the EMAS plateau. When completed the retaining walls will contain mitigation plants and the entire hillside will be landscaped.


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EMAS Fun Facts

  • 3,990 blocks will be used to create one EMAS bed. That’s about 10 times as many blocks as there are people living in Sand City! The two EMAS beds will total 7,980 blocks.
  • The smallest block will be 6” high – about the height of an iPad mini.
  • The largest block will be 20” high – about the length of the top of a school desk.
  • All together the blocks for one EMAS bed would weigh 1,000 tons or two million pounds. That’s about as much as 100 T-Rexes total weight or about 50 times the weight of the biggest ship docked in the Monterey Harbor (not including cruise ships)!