Having wrapped up 93,000m2 of facility upgrades, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in Washington plans to invest over US$4.6bn over the next five in projects to support the passenger experience.
On October 25, 2022, the airport announced that the Port of Seattle Commission has authorized approximately US$250m to advance the SEA Gateway Project and South (S) Concourse Evolution. The commission approved US$159.5m for the SEA Gateway Project, a partnership with Alaska Airlines, to modernize the 40-year-old ticketing, security and bag claim areas in the terminal’s north end. The new spaces have been designed to be light-filled and open while helping passengers move quickly through ticketing and security.
The S Concourse Evolution has received US$100m to proceed with advanced work and design on a remodel to restructure, repurpose and renovate existing spaces with more amenities, brighter spaces and an improved passenger journey. Commissioners have also approved funding for the fifth and final phase of the restroom renovation project. New public restrooms have already been opened on Concourses B, C and D. The latest funding will enable the upgrades of the old, outdated and overcrowded facilities to continue. The new restrooms feature brighter lighting, water-saving fixtures, touchless features, larger, more accessible stalls and improved art.
The airport has also implemented a virtual queueing program, SEA Spot Saver, a free option that enables passengers to reserve their space in the TSA security line, thereby making trips more efficient and predictable. Alongside this, in 2022 the airport introduced an automated parking guidance project, which includes vacant-stall light indicators in the garage. Finally, SEA has brought in its FlySEA app to enable travelers to order food without waiting in line and access real location mapping to navigate around the airport. The projects are intended to make the travel experience more predictable and convenient from curb to gate. To help passengers prepare for changes during construction and anticipate the completed improvements, the airport has introduced a new Upgrade SEA capital campaign.
Sam Cho, Commissioner of Port of Seattle, said, “The modernized N [North] Concourse and new international arrivals facility launched a new era for SEA. Passengers already can experience the night-and-day difference where we offer the most modern facilities, amenities and sustainability. We are working to bring that experience across the entire airport so passengers can travel with more space, less time in line and an overall more predictable experience.”
Lance Lyttle, managing director of SEA, added, “SEA has been one of the fastest-growing airports for a decade, mirroring the growth happening in the region. During peak periods our terminal is stretched to its max, making it a challenge to deliver the efficient, predictable experience that passengers deserve. To hit our efficiency and customer service goals we need to build up, modernize where we can, and introduce new technology.”