The Challenge

Over the last several years, Sea-Tac has been the fastest-growing major airport in the U.S.  In fact, the airport has set records for passenger volumes for five years running, and the passenger count growth over the last two years was equal to the total growth over the previous decade.  Substantial growth is expected to continue into the future.  By 2034, the passenger volumes at the airport are expected to grow from 42 million to more than 66 million, and total flights into and out of the airport are expected to increase to 540,000 from today’s 350,000.  Those projections translate into the need for 35 additional gates (a 40% increase from the current 88), including 16 additional international wide-body aircraft gates (up from the current 11).  And all of this must be accommodated within the airport’s existing three-runway configuration and an overall footprint that is constrained by neighboring communities and surrounding land topography that limits Sea-Tac’s options.