HOK and Hensel Phelps to modernize Seattle-Tacoma Airport

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HOK and general contractor Hensel Phelps, in partnership with Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle, will lead the modernization of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s north main terminal.

Known as the SEA Gateway Project, the development is intended to rejuvenate the 40-year-old check-in lobby and existing promenade. An expansion of the security checkpoint will accelerate processing, and upgrades to the baggage handling system will improve speed and reliability. The partners also assert that their electrical, mechanical, plumbing and structural elements will also improve the airport’s functionality and passenger convenience.

The new design is expected to introduce a modern, open space with daylight, reflecting the Pacific Northwest’s natural landscape. The terminal will offer travelers more check-in options, including bag tag stations, self-service bag drops and a bridge-level check-in area. New technology is projected to increase capacity and streamline operations, while intuitive wayfinding and strategic use of lighting will improve passenger flow.

Construction will occur in multiple phases to minimize disruptions to current airport operations. With the first phase of construction already in progress and the second phase of design nearing completion, the renovated terminal is expected to be fully operational by 2026.

HOK’s design approach prioritizes sustainability, incorporating environmental, cost and social implications. This aligns with the Port of Seattle’s sustainability goals of reducing GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The SEA Gateway Project is set to achieve LEED Silver certification.

Todd Buchanan, HOK’s principal-in-charge on the project, said, “We are excited to partner with Hensel Phelps to reimagine the journey of Alaska Airlines’ customers at Seattle-Tacoma. From the curbside through security and to baggage claim, the design will increase passenger throughput and enhance the overall travel experience.”

To find out more about Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s latest developments, click here.

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