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SEA Gateway Project

Status: In Progress

The Puget Sound region is growing dramatically, and this is reflected in the passenger volumes seen at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and the continued efforts to enhance the traveler experience. The SEA Gateway Project provides another opportunity with plans to reconfigure the 40-year-old terminal north end ticketing area, expand the security checkpoint and create an updated, light-filled, open space facilitating new technology and building standards to help passengers move quickly and easily through the terminal. 

The project is being undertaken by the Port of Seattle in partnership with Alaska Airlines to bring a modern, fresh look to the front door of the airport and optimize the experience for travelers from check-in to ticketing, security screening to baggage claim!

Project Overview

This first phase will add approximately 24,500 square feet of employee office and ticket counter space along undeveloped areas between the skybridges and the ticketing and bag claim levels. 
It will include efficient, new check-in kiosk and bag drop locations as well as office space to offset what will be demolished in the final stage. At the bag claim level, new connections will be made to the optimized Baggage Handling System along with associated modifications and new finishes to the ceilings. Building systems will undergo upgrades to meet the newer technology and facility standards. 

The most dramatic upgrade travelers will notice occurs in Phase B. Phase B design will reconfigure and open the passenger throughput on the ticketing level and redevelop the security checkpoint from five to six lanes with the possibility to increase to seven lanes in the future, upgrading a long-term bottleneck in the customer experience. 

This phase of the project includes the demolition of existing areas to enhance the Ticketing Level and the area above Alaska Ticketing and reconfiguration of the northern-most Mezzanine Level with modern open spaces, filled with natural light and evoking the warmth of the Pacific Northwest.

Security Screening Checkpoint #5 will be redesigned to add space and security screening capacity to significantly improve passenger processing.

The long-term renovation of the main terminal will continue to improve the facility to the south with a variety of projects in the future. These projects include the relocation of checkpoint 1 to the south on the bag claim level as well as renovations within the center ticketing area. Many of the mechanical, smoke control, fire suppression, and architectural updates will also be incorporated into future designs.


Alaska Airlines will lead the project as a tenant improvement with design and construction, which will be reimbursed by the Port. They have chosen the design build team of HOK/Hensel-Phelps. As the main tenant for the area, Alaska’s design expertise will help mitigate impacts to employees and flyers during the three-year construction project. The partnership allows the airport to focus its efforts on more than 150 other construction projects currently in varying stages of design, permitting, and construction, including other future phases of the main terminal modernization project.

Community Benefits

Alaska Airlines is spearheading the major design and construction on this project and has a 20% small business and WMBE goal for the work which is in line with the Port’s standards of Diversity in Contracting


Phase A Construction estimated to begin Q4 2022 Estimated completion Q3 2024
Phase B Construction estimated to begin Q3 2023 Estimated completion Q3 2026

Estimated Project Costs

Total project estimate is about $546 million.

The Port will reimburse Alaska for reasonable costs for work that would otherwise be done by the Port. The final cost split will be negotiated as the project progresses.

Funding for the project from the Port side will come from a combination of Airport Development Funds and future revenue bonds. As with virtually all airport projects, no tax-payer dollars will be used to fund the project.

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