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North Sea-Tac Airport Renovation

The North Sea-Tac Airport Renovation (NorthSTAR) is an unprecedented working arrangement between the Port of Seattle and Alaska Airlines with the goal to better serve passengers. The 40-year-old north satellite received only limited upgrades during its lifetime and is in need of modernization, renewal and replacement of many of its basic systems. NorthSTAR will improve the travel experience from airport drop-off to flight departure – and the working environment for employees. This investment by the port and Alaska, now the sole tenant in this satellite, will include facility modernization, seismic upgrades, enhanced traveler amenities, new gates, a roof-top lounge for Alaska Airlines Board Room guests, plus long-term energy savings and operational efficiencies.

NorthSTAR concept 1.jpg

 Conceptual drawings (click to enlarge)

NorthSTAR concept 2.jpg

North Satellite Renovation Details

  • Increase the number of aircraft gates from 12 to 20
  • Extend the building 240 feet to the west, adding about 181,000 square feet to the facility
  • More than double the existing dining and retail square footage (from 19,000 to 46,000 square feet), greatly increasing the number and variety of options tailored to the preferences and needs of the Pacific Northwest traveler
  • Add an upper level mezzanine with open circulation areas, natural light and a new full-service dining venue with dramatic airfield views
  • Enhance the exterior with an iconic design evoking movement and travel visible to arriving travelers
  • Renovate the interior with new building forms, natural light and functional interests that are cost effective, environmentally friendly and express Pacific Northwest culture
  • Install new dynamic, interactive signage and more robust Wi-Fi service
  • Introduce a rooftop Alaska Airlines Board Room lounge with views of Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains
  • Make seismic upgrades throughout the facility plus mechanical, electrical, communications, HVAC, and plumbing systems replacements and upgrades
  • Refresh north satellite transit system lobby, refurbish baggage handling, and make access walkways, elevators and stairway improvements plus related main terminal enhancements
  • Introduce aircraft tri-taxi lane changes around the north satellite

Estimated Project Costs

Funding for the project will come from a combination of airline fees and the Airport Development Fund. As with virtually all airport projects, no Port of Seattle taxes will be used. The estimated cost for the port’s portion of the north satellite renovation is $512.4 million. Alaska will contribute an estimated $36.8 million to build out the new Alaska Board Room and employee spaces. (See more detail below)

Northstar Project Timeline

  • NorthSTAR Design Complete: Summer 2016
  • Construction Start/Groundbreaking: Fall 2016
  • NorthSTAR Construction Complete: Summer 2020
Estimated Capital Cost Summary​ Port of Seattle Budget​
North Satellite Renovation​
(Not including Alaska Airlines costs for Board Room and employee spaces - $36,800,000)
Main Terminal Improvements $  29,200,000
Vertical Circulation, Concourse C​ $  18,900,000​
Refurbish Baggage System $  22,000,000​​
Exterior Stairs, Concourses C & D​ $  21,400,000​
Overall Management Costs​  $  15,400,000​
​Current Total Project Estimate $512,400,000​

Related Projects

NorthSTAR brings together the north satellite renovation and several parallel projects, including related main terminal improvements; refurbished north satellite baggage systems; and new exterior walkways, stairs and elevators. Plans also call for upgrades on concourses C and D which Alaska Airlines will continue to occupy along with the north satellite. Construction will take place in stages in order to minimize impacts to passengers.


main terminal improvements


Renovate the northern end of the existing main terminal, including curbside enhancements; demolition of the former United ticket counters with upgrades; reconfiguration of the north TSA security checkpoint; and improvements to satellite train system and other signage, way finding, variable messaging or announcements.

Project Timeline
Construction Start: Summer 2017
Construction Complete: Fall 2018

Vertical Circulation, Concourse C


Add three weather-protected sloped walkways and new elevators to improve customer service, customer vertical circulation (access between concourse level and ramp) and Horizon’s regional operations on concourse C.
Project Timeline
Construction Start: Spring 2014
Construction Complete: Spring 2015

Artist rendering, copyright OAC, SRG.

North Satellite Baggage System


Replaces worn belts, bearings, gear boxes, shafts and rollers for the baggage systems associated with the north satellite. This will include system control upgrades, and programming to increase the speed of transfers, extend system life, and improve long-term reliability and decrease operating and maintenance costs.

Project Timeline
Construction Start: Spring 2014
Construction Complete: Spring 2015

Exterior Stairs, Concourses C & D


Adds exterior stairs to concourses C & D to enable aft loading of aircraft for faster passenger loading and turn-around time and maximize utilization, efficiency and flexibility for both large and regional aircraft to share existing gates.

Project Timeline TBD