Menu Home

International Arrivals Facility

Project Overview

The Port of Seattle is building a new, expanded International Arrivals Facility (IAF) at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to significantly enhance the international passenger experience, advance the Puget Sound region as a leading tourism and business gateway, and serve the traveling public well into the future. The IAF, the most complex capital development program in the history of the 70-year-old airport, will significantly improve the arrival process for international passengers without adding new gates. The existing 1970s-era facilities cannot accommodate Seattle’s growing demand for international travel.

The IAF program includes three new elements:

  • 450,000-square-foot grand hall for baggage claim and customs processing
  • 85-foot-high aerial walkway that will directly connect passengers from the South Satellite to the grand hall
  • New sterile corridor connecting arriving international passengers on Concourse A

Supporting projects to expand power, fiber optic technology, and high-efficiency baggage services will significantly speed-up processing during peak international arrival periods.

An independent review panel convened by the Port of Seattle Commission reported on September 11, 2018, the price and construction of the program of projects are both “reasonable and achievable.”

Link to IAF one-page PDF

New Facility Plan

Increased Capacity

  • Nearly double international-capable gates (from 12 to 20)
  • Increase passenger capacity by more than double to 2,600 passengers per hour
  • Incorporate enhanced technologies for faster passport check clearance
  • Increase size and number of bag claim carousels from four to seven
  • Reduce the minimum passenger connection time from 90 to 75 minutes

Planned Facility Improvements

  • The IAF will be a new multi-level, 450,000-square-foot facility located east of the current Concourse A
  • An iconic aerial walkway, which will span 900 feet across and 85 feet above the existing taxi lane, will connect arriving international passengers from the South Satellite across the top of Concourse A to the new IAF

Project Timeline

International Arrivals Facility Project timeline

Estimated Project Costs and Jobs Created

  • The guaranteed maximum price of the program of projects is set at $968 million
  • Construction will be completed on May 31, 2020. After a period of activation testing, the facility is scheduled to open to the public in the Fall of 2020
  • Funding for the project will come from a combination of airport-generated revenues, passenger facility charges (PFC’s), and revenue bonds
  • As with virtually all airport projects, no tax-payer dollars will be used to fund the project
  • The IAF is expected to support approximately 10,600 jobs, including 500 jobs a day during a months-long peak construction period

International Arrivals Facility Progress — June 2019

The IAF Project dashboard provides monthly updates on key milestones and construction status. Select the table below to view details.

2019 June International Arrivals Facility Progress Report
The above data was pulled on August 23, 2019. Please select the image to view a dynamic dashboard of the project.


Details About the New FacilityInternational Arrivals Footprint

  • The iconic aerial walkway will be prefabricated at the north end of the airport, then transported to the south end overnight for installation in order to reduce impacts to taxiway use.
  • A new security corridor along the face of the existing Concourse A will allow eight international wide-body aircraft gates to access directly into the IAF. These gates will also allow dual use for domestic flights into Concourse A.
  • As part of the Port of Seattle’s emphasis on environmental stewardship and sustainability, the project is designed to achieve LEED V4 (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Version 4) Silver certification from the United States Green Building Council.
  • The baggage claim devices will nearly triple in size, from four devices with 668 linear feet in the current space to seven devices and 1,806 linear feet!

Current SEA Airport Traffic Facts

  • SEA is one of the fastest-growing large hub airports in North America. Increasing passenger traffic by 41 percent in the last five years, SEA has jumped to the eighth busiest airport in the U.S.
  • International passenger activity in the customs facility at SEA has more than doubled in the past 10 years, growing 107 percent from 2007 to 2017.
  • A consultant study estimates each new international route generates $89 million in annual economic impacts to the region.
  • Located exactly halfway between London and Tokyo, SEA is the closest U.S. West Coast gateway to both Europe and Asia.
  • Over the past 10 years, SEA has welcomed 16 new intercontinental services including new routes to Beijing, Dubai, Frankfurt, Dublin, Reykjavik, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

Time lapse video of International Arrivals Facility consturction at Sea-Tac Airport
Timelapse video of International Arrivals Facility construction at SEA, mid-May to mid-July, 2018.


Experience this video rendering of International Arrivals Facility:

CONTRACTOR INFORMATION: Contractors can get more information on bid packages and awards

Conceptual drawings and video courtesy of Clark/SOM/Port of Seattle.

Back to Top