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.”
New Facility Plan
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 780 feet across and 85 feet above the existing taxilane, will connect arriving international passengers from the South Satellite across the top of Concourse A to the new IAF.
The IAF was designed to increase capacity and will provide the following benefits:
- 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
Key features of the IAF, include:
- 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
Jobs Created and Economic Impact
The IAF is expected to support approximately 10,600 jobs, including 500 jobs a day during a month-long peak construction period. For more on trade hours and small business utilization, select the table below to view details.
International Arrivals Facility Progress — February 2020
Construction is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2020. After a period of activation testing, the facility is scheduled to open to the public in late fall of 2020. For more on key milestones and construction status, visit the IAF Project dashboard that is updated monthly.
Estimated Project Costs
- The guaranteed maximum price of the program of projects is set at $968 million
- Funding for the project will come from a combination of airport-generated revenues, passenger facility charges (PFCs), and revenue bonds
- As with virtually all airport projects, no tax-payer dollars will be used to fund the project
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 $74 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
- SEA has been named the 10th most connected international hub in the U.S., according to the 2019 OAG Megahubs Index
- Since 2017, SEA has welcomed 12 new international services, including routes to seven previously-unserved international destinations: Dublin, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Munich, Osaka, and Singapore
CONTRACTOR INFORMATION: Contractors can get more information on bid packages and awards.
Conceptual drawings and video courtesy of Clark/SOM/Port of Seattle.