SEA-TAC Renovation Ready for Take-Off

September 16, 2016

With an unanimous vote this week by Seattle port commissioners, the North Sea-Tac Airport Renovation project – known as NorthSTAR - is on schedule to take off the first quarter of 2017, with the first phase of the remodel opening in 2019 and full completion in 2021.

The first phase of NorthSTAR will add eight new gates, for a total of 20, to the North Satellite  terminal with a 240-foot extension of the building to the west. An upper level mezzanine will also be added.

The second phase will renovate in existing 40-year old terminal.

 “This project  - which will include new gates, increased dining and retail options, and more robust Wi-Fi and connectivity – is critical for meeting the region’s needs at Sea-Tac Airport for the next 25 years,” said said Port of Seattle Commission president John Creighton. “Renovations will open up the building with natural light, bring the feeling of movement and travel inside and express the culture of the Pacific Northwest with cost-efficient, environmentally friendly functions and materials including a living wall and collecting rainwater to supply flushing water to the restrooms throughout most of the year.”

The NorthSTAR project is being carried out through cooperation between the Port of Seattle and Alaska Airlines, Sea-Tac’s largest airline and the sole tenant of the North Satellite. The estimated cost for the port’s portion of the renovation is $549.9 million. Alaska Airlines will contribute an estimated $36.8 million to build a new passenger lounge, board room and employee spaces. The terminal will be used exclusively by Alaska Airlines but the project will be funded by all airlines that use Sea-Tac.

Besides the North Satellite work, several parallel airport projects with separate budgets have been rolled into the capital program totaling $636 million: $29 million in improvements to the main terminal, $20 million in baggage-system refurbishment, and upgrades on concourses C and D, which Alaska Airlines will continue to use.

The North Satellite project is in addition to the airport’s two other major development projects: the $608 million new international-arrivals terminal to open in 2019, and the $320 million new high-speed baggage system under the terminal that will finish an initial phase in 2018 and be completed in 2023.