The Port of Seattle presented virtually its annual State of the Port that featured highlights from 2021 that included putting health and safety first; supporting our region’s economy by helping to save jobs; caring for our most vulnerable communities and businesses; confronting systemic racism and inequity; and leading an equitable recovery across our region. Together, the Ports unified vision also embraced major transformations in our region and globe, such as climate change.
“Last year, aware of the great uncertainty before us, we laid out our strategy to create broad-based economic opportunities by building, maintaining, and operating our gateways, in order to sustain the region’s economic base and create the jobs of the future,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Fred Felleman. “This was not just our vision which we are committed to carrying into the future. It’s a strategy and commitment shared by all our partners who kept working through the pandemic, in difficult conditions, to keep our gateways safely operating, and to keep construction workers and related businesses on the job. This was a partnership, and we’re grateful to you.”
“I am pleased to report that the State of the Port is strong thanks to clear direction, clarity of our mission, strong efforts by our resilient staff, and the effective partnerships with the community and industry,” said Port of Seattle Executive Director Steve Metruck. “Looking back, we can confidently say that this year we made progress in restoring our operations and leading the region to recovery, and we have the right team and partners in place to continue economic recovery in 2022.”
More than 80 percent of the Port’s funds come from operating revenue and fees, which began to improve midway through last year. Highlights from 2021 included:
- Restoring 74 percent of passenger volume at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
- Completion of major construction on the airport’s North Satellite and International Arrivals Facility (IAF)
- Safely restoring the 2021 cruise season, with 83 sailings and almost 20 percent of pre-COVID cruise passenger volume
- Maintaining activity in the Port’s highly diversified maritime division
- Through our partnership with the Northwest Seaport Alliance, the Port took delivery of the largest maritime shipping cranes on the west coast to Terminal 5 and is preparing to open the first phase of the modernized terminal
- Added resources for the South King County Fund to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on the community and support regional economic recovery
- Partnered with the community to open a Community Hub in the Duwamish Valley
- For a second year, funded the Youth Opportunity Initiative to support 200 youth employments
- Used our influence to create clear market signals by adopting new goals to phase out the Port’s own emissions in the next 18 years and support industry decarbonization goals by 2050.
- Achieved greenhouse gas emission reduction goals ten years early through the purchase of renewable natural gas
- Successfully advocated for the new Washington state Low Carbon Fuel Standard
- Launched a new study with King County to examine the feasibility of converting municipal solid waste to renewable fuels, including sustainable aviation fuel
“From kelp to killer whales and construction, while also working to assure our interactions within the port and our engagement with communities are culturally appropriate,” continued Felleman.
During the presentation, Commission President Felleman recognized the service of two colleagues whose terms end this month. “I particularly want to recognize the efforts of two of my colleagues, Commissioners Stephanie Bowman and Peter Steinbrueck with whom I’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with to advance the mission of the port on behalf of the residents of King County,” said Felleman. “While their tenure at the port will come to a close this year, their contributions will continue to help improve the Port’s ability to advance our communities’ job opportunities and quality of life.”
“The first quarter of next year will start off easy with the long-awaited completion of the IAF and T5. While there will inevitably be unexpected challenges to face in the future, such as new strains of the coronavirus, I expect the review of the Sustainable Airport Master Plan and resolution of competing interests involving the future of Terminal 46, to be the top priorities we will need to address in 2022,” concluded Felleman. The Port’s 2022 Budget in Brief includes more details on the annual operating budget and five-year capital plan.
Peter McGraw | Port of Seattle Media Officer
(206) 787-3446 | firstname.lastname@example.org