By Jamie Carter and Darlesa Cahoon
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) officially opened on July 9th, 1949 in front of a crowd of around 30,000. In its first full year of operation, more than half a million passengers and 6,234 tons of air freight passed through its gates.
To put this birthday in perspective, in 1949:
- a new car cost $1,650
- gas was 26 cents a gallon
- and bread was 14 cents per loaf
- The Billboard top hit was “Some Enchanted Evening” by Perry Como
- Legos, Junior Mints, the Lone Ranger, and the 45 RPM record were introduced
All that and people started flying in and out of SEA.
Just a few things have changed since 1949! Turning 72 is a perfect occasion to celebrate, reflect, and maybe learn a few things about SEA. Our team developed a trivia game honoring the airport’s history. Play along to test your airport knowledge and celebrate with us! Answers are at the bottom.
1. In 2019 SEA was ranked ______ on the list of busiest airports in the U.S. based on total passengers.
2. Which airport has the smallest footprint by acres?
3. How many parking spaces are in the SEA airport parking garage?
4. The SEA parking garage has more parking spaces than Disney World in Florida.
5. How much luggage can one screening machine process per hour?
a. 300 bags per hour
b. 700 bags per hour
c. 1,100 bags per hour
6. What was the creature found during construction at SEA during preparation for the 1962 World’s Fair?
a. Woolly Mammoth
b. Saber-toothed tiger
7. The airport has three locations on the airfield that are home to ___________.
a. Honey bees
b. Barn owls
8. Which famous professional boxer composed a poem for a Port of Seattle employee during a visit through SEA in 1972?
a. Joe Louis
b. Mike Tyson
c. Sugar Ray Robinson
d. Muhammad Ali
9. South King County was not the first location choice for SEA. What was the preferred location?
a. Boeing Field
10. What year did D.B. Cooper disappear on a flight between SEA and PDX?
11. Where did Dave Grohl film his HBO special in 2014?
a. Dilettante Mocha Café
b. Floret by Café Flora
c. Made in Washington
d. Sub Pop
12. What is the official color of SEA Airport?
13. Which SEA gate was featured with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in the movie “Sleepless in Seattle?”
14. Which is the longest of SEA’s three runways?
15. How many days each year is SEA closed?
16. How many people work at SEA?
a. Under 5,000
d. Over 20,000
17. The roof of the new International Arrivals Facility opening later this year resembles what?
a. A cruise ship
b. Mt. Rainier
c. An airplane landing
d. A waterway
Happy 72nd birthday, SEA!
CORRECT ANSWER KEY
Q1: c. 8th busiest
Q2: d. SEA
Q3: b. 13,500
Q4: a. True
Q5: b. 700 bags
Q6: c. Sloth
Q7: a. Honey bees
Q8: d. Muhammad Ali
Q9: c. Redmond
Q10: b. 1971
Q11: d. Sub Pop
Q12: a. Green
Q13: b. Gate N7
Q14: a. 16L/34R
Q15: a. 0 days
Q16: d. Over 20,000 people
Q17: d. A waterway