Seattle-Tacoma Airport reveals International Arrivals Facility

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Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in Washington has unveiled its new International Arrivals Facility (IAF).

Replacing the 50-year-old customs facility, the IAF increases the number of gates capable of processing international arrivals from 12 to 20 and more than doubles passenger capacity to 2,600 passengers per hour (up from 1,200). By using faster passport check clearance technology, the terminal has reduced the minimum passenger connection time from 90 to 75 minutes. The project has also increased the number of bag claim carousels from four to seven. Additional amenities, including nursing rooms, pet relief areas and restrooms, have been added throughout the terminal.

The IAF was designed with sustainability in mind and comprises an aerial pedestrian walkway, secure corridor and Grand Hall. The modern design features regional art and floor-to-ceiling windows to highlight views of the surrounding landscape. Artwork by Marela Zacarías in the Grand Hall – including Chalchiuhtlicue, a five-piece sculpture on display above the bag claim carousels – was inspired by the colors of the waterways and sunsets in the nearby San Juan Islands. Indigenous art is installed throughout the IAF, with works by six Native American artists including glass artist Preston Singletary and interdisciplinary artist Marie Watt.

More than 9,000mof terrazzo floor sourced from local stone forms a rock pattern intended to evoke the colors and textures of a rocky Pacific Ocean beach. The project used conscientious construction methods, including removing 7,163 tons of contaminated soil and 283,698 liters of impacted stormwater from the project site and diverting most of the construction waste from landfills. It took nearly three million labor hours to construct the facility, including nearly one million minority labor hours (35%), over 500,000 apprentice hours (19%) and more than 139,000 (5%) labor hours by women.

To incorporate sustainability in the terminal’s design, low-flow restroom fixtures have been installed to reduce indoor water use. Energy-saving features like LED lighting, energy-efficient escalator motors and variable-speed motors on baggage handling devices have also been added to support this aim.

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