New North Satellite opens at Seattle-Tacoma

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Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle have opened a new satellite at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, boasting eight new gates and a flagship Alaska Airlines Lounge.

The first stage of the US$658.3m North Satellite Modernization Project also involved expanding locally based dining and retail options.

“The old North Satellite worked for 45 years and worked well, but it’s become a living time capsule. We are now headed into the future with a stunning facility that improves the passenger experience with more space, light and services,” said Port of Seattle Commission president Stephanie Bowman. “Built by Pacific Northwest businesses and residents, this project brings economic opportunities in construction as well as for airport dining and retail businesses, including small, local and disadvantaged entrepreneurs.”

The 23,700m2 (255,000ft2) expansion features open spaces, natural light, incredible views and ample gate seating with easily accessible charging stations. Flyers will have access to new restaurants and services inspired by the best of the Northwest, including family-owned Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen, popular Seattle eatery Skillet, locally owned Caffe D’Arte and travel retailer The New Stand.

A brand-new nursing suite for traveling mothers will open on the upper-level mezzanine in early August. It will offer three curtained alcoves for privacy, a lounge, stroller storage, charging stations, a restroom, multiple sinks and ample counter space.

Alaska opened the doors to its new flagship lounge in the North Satellite, the airline’s third at Sea-Tac, to a crowd of frequent flyers, partners and community and business leaders. At 1,470m2 (15,800ft2), the lounge is three times the size of the average lounge and features stunning views of the airfield, Olympic Mountains and downtown Seattle. The lounge officially opened to the public on July 12.

Designed in partnership with Graham Baba Architects, the lounge has a West Coast vibe, with open spaces, a feature fireplace and warm finishes. Customers can try Seattle microbrews at the bar, taste complimentary Pacific Northwest-inspired bites and enjoy custom-brewed coffees and teas from an Alaska Lounge barista.

Sustainability has played a key role in the North Satellite development. The project’s design borrows from the Pacific Northwest’s natural environment of native rivers and water while maximizing views and daylight. It is seeking LEED Silver level certification with sustainable construction practices and building operations, including 100% LED lighting, an efficient heating and cooling system, and the capture of 750,000 gallons (3.4 million liters) of rainwater runoff annually to supply the restrooms. Multiple nature-inspired art pieces will complement the open design of the building and celebrate the environment. The new expansion features the work of visual arts duo Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew – their recently completed two-part permanent art installation, Cathedral,  consists of 20 custom glass panels and one large bronze tree log.

All operations in the North Satellite will transition to the newly renovated section at the end of July and the remaining original gates will close for renovation. Full renovation of the existing North Satellite will be completed by mid-2021, with double the dining and retail space and 20 gates in total.

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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