About Seattle Tacoma International Airport

Seattle Tacoma International Airport is an international airport which is the primary commercial airport that serves the Seattle Metropolitan Area in the United States. The airport is located in the city of Sea-Tac, which is approximately 23 kilometers north northeast of Downtown Tacoma. Seattle Tacoma International airport is the largest airport in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The airport is owned by the Port of Seattle which also is also responsible for its operations.

The airport has flights that serve cities like North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and is the primary hub for Alaska Airline whose headquarters are near the airport. 

The airport was built in 1944 by the Port of Seattle after the takeover by the military to control Boeing Field in World War II. The city of Tacoma provided the port with $100,000 and the Civil Aeronautics Administration provided $1 million to build the airport. In 1951 there were four runways 45 degrees angled, between 5,000 and 6,100 feet long. In 1962 the runway 34 was expanded and extended and required the construction of an automobile tunnel for South 188th street which was officially opened in July 196. Later in the year 1970, Runway 34L replaced runway 2.

There was a two-Storey North concourse which was later dubbed as concourse D, which was added four gate positions, and a new wing was extended. The one-Storey was constructed and had 8 gates. Its construction extended the airport by 688 feet. The concourse was later dubbed the current concourse A.

Between 1967 -1973, the port embarked on major expansion which included adding a second runway, a parking garage, and two satellite terminals which were planned and designed by Richardson Associates. The two satellite terminals were opened in 1973 alongside an underground train system that connected to the main terminal.

In 1970 the residents filed complaints that led to the formulation of airline regulation to curb the complaints of the residents which included noise, vibration smoke, and other problems. The regulations were ended in 1978 and airlines were allowed to determine routes and fares without government approvals.

With projected increased passenger traffic, the third runway was opened in 2008 November to allow landings in times of visibility, the runway was parallel to the existing two and therefore allowed landing in both of them.

How busy is Seattle Tacoma International Airport

According to the statistics of 2019, the airport was the 28th busiest airport in the world serving and 8th busiest in the United States having served passenger traffic of 51,829,239 passengers and made 450,487 aircraft movements with air cargo of 453,549 metric tons.

How big is Seattle Tacoma International Airport

The entire airport covers an area of 3.9 square miles which is approximately 2,500 acres making it much denser than other U.S. airport that serves the same passenger traffic.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Codes

The codes for Seattle Tacoma International Airport are IATA: SEA, ICAO: KSEA, FAA LID: SEA and WMO: 72793. The airport is abbreviated as SEA-TAC

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Runways

DirectionLength in feetLength in meterssurface
16L/34R119013627concrete
16C/34C94262873concrete
16R/34L85002591concrete

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Terminals

Seattle Tacoma International Airport consists of two satellite buildings and four concourses that contain 80 gates.

Concourse A has 16 gates and has 2 ground boarding bus gates, Concourse B has 15 gates with 2 ground boarding bus gates, concourse C has 7 gates with 20 gates and Jetways, the gates in concourse C lead to ground boarded parking slips. Concourse D has 11 gates with 6 ground boarding bus gates. The satellites include North Satellite has 10 gates and the South Satellite which has 14 gates.

The terminals are laid in an “X” shape with the four concourses forming each of the arms and the central part holds the central terminal which has no gates for boarding but consists of several retail stores and restaurants.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Airlines and Destinations

Airlines Destinations
Aer LingusDublin
AeromexicoMexico City
Air CanadaMontreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson
Air Canada ExpressVancouver
Air FranceParis-Charles de Gaulle
Alaska AirlinesKansas City, Albuquerque, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Bellingham, Billings, Boise, Boston, Bozeman, Burbank, Calgary, Charleston, Chicago, O’Hare, Cincinnati, Columbus-Glenn, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Edmonton, El Paso, Eugene, Fairbanks, Fort Lauderdale, Fresno, Great Falls, Helena, Honolulu, Houston-Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Juneau, Kahului, Kailua, Kona, Kalispel, Kelowna, Ketchikan, Las Vegas, Lihue, Los Angeles, Medford, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Missoula, Monterey, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, New York, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ontario, Orange County, Orlando, Palm Spring, Philadelphia, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Portland, Pullman, Raleigh, Redmond, Reno, Sacramento, St.Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa, Sitka, Spokane, Sun Valley, Tampa, Tri Cities, Tucson, Vancouver, Victoria, Walla Walla, Washington-Dulles, Washington-National, Wenatchee, Wichita, Yakima
All Napoli AirwaysTokyo-Haneda
American AirlinesBangalore, Charlotte, Chicago-O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix Sky Harbor
American EagleLos Angeles
Asian AirlinesSeoul-Incheon
British AirwaysLondon Heathrow
Cathay PacificHong Kong
CondorFrankfurt
Delta AirlinesAmsterdam, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Beijing Capital, Beijing Daxing, Boston, Chicago-O’Hare, Cincinnati, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fairbanks, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Kahului, Kailua-Kona, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Lihue, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New York-JFK, Orange City, Orlando, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Phoenix- sky Harbor, Portland, Raleigh/ Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Spokane, Tampa, Tokyo-Haneda, Washington-Dulles, Cancun, Juneau, Osaka-Kansai, Palm spring, Puerto Vallarta, San Jose del Cabo, Tucson, Vancouver
Delta ConnectionBoise, Bozeman, Calgary, Eugene, Medford, Orange County, Portland, Redmond/ Bend, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Jackson Hole, Ketchikan, Sitka.
Emirates Dubai International
EVA AirTaipei-Taoyuan
Frontier AirlinesDenver, Las Vegas, Ontario, Austin, Cleveland
Hainan AirlinesBeijing-Capital, Shanghai-Pudong
Hawaiian AirlinesHonolulu, Kahului
IcelandairReykjavik-Keflavik
Japan AirlinesTokyo-Narita
JetBlueBoston, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New York
Korean AirSeoul-Incheon
LufthansaFrankfurt
Norwegian Air ShuttleLondon-Gatwick
Singapore AirlinesSingapore
Southwest AirlinesBaltimore, Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Love, Denver, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, St. Louis
Spirit AirlinesBurbank, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Chicago-O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston-Intercontinental, Phoenix-Sky Harbor
Sun Country  AirlinesMinneapolis/St. Paul, Madison
United AirlinesChicago-O’Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington Dulles
United ExpressLos Angeles, San Francisco
Virgin AtlantaLondon-Heathrow
VolarisGuadalajara, Morelia

Cargo 

AirlinesDestinations
AerologicFrankfurt
Amazon AirAllentown/Bethlehem, Anchorage, Cincinnati, Hartford, Springfield, New York, Ontario
AmeriflightSpokane
Alaska Air CargoAnchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Yakutat
Asiana CargoChicago-O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seoul-Incheon
CargoluxCalgary, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Glasgow-Prestwik
China Airline CargoAnchorage, Chicago-O’Hare, Columbus, Miami, New York-JFK, Taipei-Taoyuan
China Cargo AirlinesShanghai-Pudong
DHL AviationCincinnati, Los Angeles, Seoul-Incheon, Vancouver
EVA Air CargoAnchorage, Dallas/Fort Worth, Taipei-Taoyuan
FedEX ExpressAnchorage, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Worth, /Alliance, Indianapollis, Los Angeles, Memphis, Oakland, Ontario, Portland
FedEx FeederBellingham, Burlington, Friday Harbor, Orcas Island, Port Angeles
Korean CargoChicago-O’Hare, Los Angeles, Seoul-Incheon
Lufthansa CargoFrankfurt
Singapore Airlines CargoAnchorage, Chicago-O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Singapore

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Ground Transportation

The airport is strategically positioned in a location along State Route 99 one of the reasons for selection of the location, it has easy access of the highway. This makes the airport the largest generator of vehicle trips In the state.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Parking

The airport has the accessibility of paid on-site parking in a 13,000 space of the garage. This is the biggest parking space in America under one roof. Additionally, there is a number of privately owned parking facilities located off-site near the airport.

Public Transportation

The airport has a number of public transport services serving them. Seattle’s Red Line serves the airport at the Sea-Tac airport station and offers frequent convenient services to Downtown Seattle and the University of Washington.

The airport is also served by the King County Metro buses including RapidRide A-line and the Sound Transit Regional Buses.

The Sounder Commuter rail serves the airport through the Tukwila station 5 miles east of the airport and Amtrak cascades regional intercity rail offers the services through in the north to Vancouver, Canada, and to the south, it offers to Portland and Eugene in Oregon. The Central Link rail and the RapidRide A-line bus service offers services and transferring service at Tukwila International Boulevard station to the Rapid Ride F line bus station.

There are shuttle services that serve the customers with a door-to-door service  with several scheduled airporter bus service, where the airporter include Bellaire Charters to Yakima and Bellingham and the quick shuttle to Downtown Vancouver Canada

There are also transportation network companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Wingz that offer transportation with exclusive taxis, limousines.

Rental Car Facility 

On the 17th of May 2012, a 23 acre consolidated rental car facility was opened located at the northeastern portion of the airport at the intersection of south 160th street and International Boulevard South, with a capacity of 5,400 parking slots and can in approximation handle 14,000 transactions in a day.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Future Development

With the nationwide expansion of Seattle-based Alaska Airline and Delta t Lines setting up a major international hub at Sea-Tac Airport, it has seen the airport recording growth in passenger traffic over the few years. This growth, therefore, imposes strain in the facilities at the airport. This has pushed the port into investing more than 2 billion into several expansion projects and renovations.

D gates hardstand terminal

There is a projected development that will see an additional six new gates where passengers will wait until boarding time then it will board a large bus outside of the terminal that will transport them to an aircraft parked in a remote area of the airport called a hardstand. The building will connect to the D concourse where there will be a bridge connecting them to the satellite Transit System.

Baggage system

The Port of Seattle has looked into updating the baggage handling system of the airport. The project is aimed to create one unified, high-speed baggage system under the airport. This will allow passengers’ bags to be checked from any ticketing counter, receive security screening faster and be routed to any gate of the airport. These upgrades will boost the speed of baggage handling in the future without expansions.

North satellite modernization

Having received no upgrades since 1973, the Port of Seattle has projected modernization of the North satellite which will increase the size of the North satellite by 201,000 square feet with additional 8 gates to bring the total to 20. The first phase will see the expansion of the terminal to the west by 240 feet and an addition of 8 gates with a mezzanine level with eateries, whereas the second phase will modernize the remaining areas of the old terminal and is projected to be completed by 2021.

New international arrival facility

The Port of Seattle is planning on building a 450,000 square feet IAF east of concourse A in the main terminal building to address the issue of overcrowding in the current IAF. The upgrade will increase capacity by nearly 60 percent with the projected increase of passport check booths and kiosk from 30 to 80. The baggage claim carousels are part of the expansions where there will be an increase from four to seven. The new IAF will be connected to by a footbridge 900 meters long to the south satellite. With the new IAF being opened, the South Satellite will continue to be used for the arrival of international flights where there will be additional international gates in Concourse A. this will almost be double the number of gates capable of serving larger wide-body aircraft.

South satellite modernization

After completion of the New IAF, the port of Seattle will renovate the South Satellite terminal.

Second terminal

Due to the projected growth of passenger traffic by 2035, the Port of Seattle began the development of a Sustainable Airport Master Plan. To meet the projected passenger and cargo demands.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Accidents and incidents 

On the 30thof November 1947, an Alaska airline flight 9, en route o Seattle landed in heavy fog and damp condition and sped off on a nearby road colliding with an automobile and bursting into flames bringing about 9 fatalities among them a blind woman.

April 2nd, 1956, a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser headed to Portland international airport experienced reduced power and extreme buffeting shortly after takeoff and forced the pilot to take a water landing making it sink within 15 minutes causing the death of five of the 38 onboard.

November 24th, 1971 Northwest Airlines flight 305 was hijacked by a man called Dan Cooper where after landing he released the passengers in exchange for $200,000 and four parachutes, ordered the plane back into the air, and jumped off over southwest Washington with the money.

On the 26th of December, 1974, a Harbor airline flight 308 crashed 1 km north of Sea-Tac in snowy weather conditions into Riverton. Four of the six on board were killed.

January 20th, 1983 a northwest Airlines flight 608 flying to Portland was hijacked by a man who threatened the flight attendant that he had a bomb and demanded to be taken to Afghanistan. Federal agents stormed the plane after it landed in Portland for refueling and killed the hijacker only to reveal there were no explosives.

On the 15th April of 1988, Horizon flight 2658 a twin-engine de Havilland Canada Dash-8 experienced a power loss in the number two engine shortly after takeoff departing for the Spokane International Airport and as the crew was lowering the gear for landing to return to the airport, a massive fire broke out in the right engine resulting in a loss of braking. The aircraft veered off after touchdown to the ramp colliding with two jetways before a stop.

An empty Horizon Air bombardier Q400 was stolen on the 10th of August of 2018 and crashed on Ketron Island.

Navigating Seattle Tacoma International Airport

Within the central terminal, you can just walk between concourses but if you are going to the North Satellite, you will need to take a train. The Satellite transit system has 3 lines, a loop line between concourse A, B, and South Satellite. Another loop is located between Concourse C, D, and North satellite and the third loop line between Concourse A and D.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Facilities

Communication facilities

There is an availability of wifi throughout the airport. There is also internet-enabled payphones.

Conference and business

There is a range of conference centers for holding meetings within the airport. There is a range of business accessories located at the Regus Business Center,

Disabled Facilities

There are equipped toilets for the disabled in the airport, lowered drinking fountains ramps, and those with hearing problems there are amplified phones and adapted lifts with brailed signs.

Car parking

There is a multistory car park that can be accessed through the sky bridges located in the main terminal.

Car Rental

There is a wide range of car rental companies around the airport and shuttles are available to take you to the agencies outside the baggage claim area.

Smoking area

This airport is a non-smoking facility but there are two outdoor locations you can smoke from; North end of the lower drive in the baggage claim and South end of the lower drive baggage claim level.

Lost and Found

There is a lost and found an office where you can check with them or report any case of a lost item. The office is operational from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. The office is located on the mezzanine level above checkpoint 3  

Showers 

 There are showers located in different lounges where you can freshen up and change during your layover. There are also hotels onsite and offsite the airport where you can check-in and have access to showers.

Sleeping in the airport

There is a comfortable and ample environment in the airport lounges where you can take a nap during a layover or after a tiresome flight. In the Terminal N gates N11 and N16 you can have a quiet environment during the night, pre-security, the meditation room has a quiet room with benches, and the pre-security, head upstairs to the mezzanine by security checkpoint 4 towards the USO room. In case you don’t have the comfort of sleeping in the lounges, there is an option of checking in some hotels and have some good comfortable sleep.

Duty-Free shops

In the international departure area in concourse A, there is a duty-free shop which is a boutique where you can buy a wide range of products ranging from food, fragrance, liquor, and cosmetics

Baggage Storage

There is a baggage storage facility located in the baggage claim area of the main terminal and you can contact the facility through (206)433-5333

Yoga room

There are no yoga rooms in Sea-Tac 

Pet relief

There are two areas designated for the services of pets of the travelers in the airport. They are located in the main terminal and are equipped to serve as pet potties. They are outside of the baggage claim on both the north end outside of door #26, in the D gate train station, on the south satellite on the S Gates near the escalators, and in concourse B just before the exit.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Arrivals and Departures

Arrivals

Domestic flights that are scheduled to arrive at the north satellite or south satellite you can ride a train to the central terminal to claim your baggage and exit the airport.

For international flights, baggage claim, all immigration and customer declarations processes are centrally conducted at the lower level of the South Satellite. The airport is modernized and equipped with Global Entry and Mobile Passport Control express lanes. In case you are continuing with another flight, you will need to re-check your checked luggage even after clearing customs and immigration. There is an isolated side of the train that will take you to central terminal baggage claim if you are exiting the airport, also you can bring your luggage with you or deposit it to be taken to the central terminal at the carousel #1

Departures

Check-in and security screening for all flights are conducted at the Central terminal and you can check them in all the five security checkpoints but checkpoint 3 in the middle, which is the largest of all of them is comparatively the fastest despite long lines.

Destinations from Seattle Tacoma International Airport

Downtown

Take the central link train it will take you directly to Downtown and it will cost you from $2-$4 and takes approximately 30 minutes to Downtown.

Cruise port

Take a flight to Washington Dulles which will take you 4 hours 46 minutes by plane and cost between $130-$420. Take a bus from Dulles airport Terminal and arrival door to N Moore St Rosslyn Station Bus Bay C which will take approximately 36 minutes, form Rosslyn take a subway to Union Station where you an hourly wait train to Newark Penn station. From Newark station take a taxi to Cape Liberty Cruise port which will take approximately 15 minutes.

Vancouver

Take a flight from Seattle to Bellingham 44 minutes flight and will cost you between $80-$320. From Bellingham airport take a shuttle to River Rock Casino Resort, Richmond which will cost you between $29-$60 and take 1 hour 35 minutes. At the Bridgeport Station Platform 2, take a subway to Vancouver City Center Station Platform 2.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Maps and Images

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Weather

You can check on real time weather of the airport from https://weather.com/weather/today/l/SEA:9:US or check out on the live webcams the condition and if your flight is affected.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport Shut down and Closure

The airport was closed due to Hurricane ASAIAS which caused delays in the flight schedule. There was closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic until reopen following the WHO guidelines.

%d bloggers like this: