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Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

A premier international gateway serving the Puget Sound region and Washington state

Operated by the Port of Seattle, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA, KSEA) is a world-class facility with a regional economic impact of over $13.2 billion. Sea-Tac generates over 138,000 jobs (89,902 direct jobs) representing more than $2.2 billion in direct earnings and $412 million in state and local taxes. Twenty-four scheduled passenger airlines serve 76 non-stop domestic destinations and 19 international cities.

Air Passengers

  • 34.7 million in 2013 (34,776,666 – a 4.7% increase over 2012)
  • Domestic passengers: 31,197,296 (+4.1%, 90.2% of total)
  • International passengers: 3,579,370 (+10.2%, 9.8% of total)
  • U.S. rank by passenger numbers: #15
  • World ranking by passenger numbers: #40 
  • Gates: 76
  • Approximately 70% of the airport’s passengers originate and/or terminate their itinerary at Sea-Tac.

Air Cargo

  • 292,709 metric tons in 2013  
  • U.S. rank by air cargo volume: #19 in 2013 

Aircraft Operations

  • 317,186 (+2.5% from 2012)
  • Average daily operations: 855
  • U.S. rank by operations: #22 in 2013 


  • Sea-Tac is a category IIIb certified airfield, allowing operations in all but the worst conditions.
  • Three runways: (16L/34R – 11,901 feet; 16C/34C – 9,426 feet; 16R/34L – 8,500 feet)

Air Carriers

  • Twenty-four airlines serve 76 nonstop domestic and 19 non-stop international cities.
  • Top carriers by passengers (% of total): Alaska 51.5%, Delta 12.2%, United 9.9%, Southwest 8.6%
  • Top carriers by domestic passengers:
    Alaska 54.1%, Delta 10.8%, United 10.4%
  • Top carriers by international passengers: Alaska 28.0%, Delta 24.4%, Air Canada 6.5%, British Airways 5.7%


Top U.S. destinations ranked by scheduled flights:
  • Los Angeles 9.% (LAX, Orange County, Burbank, Long Beach, Ontario)
  • Bay Area, California 9.6% (San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose)
  • Portland 7.3%,
  • Anchorage 4.3%
  • Spokane 4.2%

Top international destinations ranked by scheduled flights:
  • 61.4% Canada (Vancouver 26.8%, Victoria 10.7%, Calgary 9.1%)
  • 20.7% Asia (Tokyo 7.3%, Seoul 35.2%, Beijing 3.3%)
  • 13.4% Europe (Amsterdam 3.6%, Frankfurt 2.7%, London 2.4%)
  • 2.2% Middle East (Dubai)


Sea-Tac Airport was developed as a direct response to the World War II Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 when military needs limited civilian access to existing airports. The federal Civilian Aviation Authority sought a local government to develop new regional airport. The Port of Seattle accepted the challenge and selected Bow Lake in southwest King County for the new airfield. Runway construction was completed in 1944, civilian operation began in 1946, and a modern terminal building was dedicated on July 9, 1949. Read more.

Major Renovations/Highlights

  • Sea-Tac Airport’s Experience the City of Music program highlights local artists who put the northwest music scene on the map. Through live performances in the terminal, overhead music and announcements by local musicians like Macklemore, Quincy Jones and Soundgarden, the innovative program brings the region’s diverse music culture to travelers.
  • Award winning environmental programs include recycling over 1,705 tons of material each year compressed natural gas taxi and ground transportation vehicles, purchasing ‘green’ energy, plus industry-leading wildlife and stormwater management.
  • In 2012, a Consolidated Rental Car Facility opened to support all rental car operations in one convenient location. The fi ve story, 2.1 million square foot structure is the largest rental car facility with a green building LEED ® silver certification.
  • Sea-Tac is the leading airport conducting avian radar research to prevent aircraft bird strikes. In 2007, the FAA and the University of Illinois began demonstration research on the airfield.
  • Sea-Tac’s third runway opened in November 2008 to address lower visibility conditions and reduce delay times. In addition, the project improved over 116 acres of nearby wetlands to conditions that now allow salmon to spawn in an urban creek less than 200 yards from the runway.

Sea-Tac Airport