Sea-Tac International Arrivals Terminal The facility is the most complex development programin the history of the 69-year-old airport.

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SEATTLE—Seattle-TacomaInternational Airport continues to boast significant growth inthe number of international airlines. In 2018, three new airlinesbegan service, with three more scheduled for 2019. And, during thelast decade, the number of passengers requiring US Customsclearance at Sea-Tac doubled. Passenger volume during peak periodsclimbs well above the levels the current facility was meant tohold. As a result, passengers often must wait in airplanes at thegate or in current hallways before going through customs or pickingup luggage.

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In order to increase capacity levels and provide a major upgradefor international passengers, a new International ArrivalsFacility/IAF is underway at Sea-Tac. The project is rapidlyprogressing towards its scheduled opening in the fall of 2020 whenthe new 450,000-square-foot grand hall will be five times largerthan the current 1970s-era facility. The IAF, the most complexcapital development program in the history of the 69-year-old airport,will significantly improve the arrival process for internationalpassengers without adding new gates.

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“We are on our way to creating a significantly better experiencefor our arriving international visitors and residents here atSea-Tac, and providing a much more welcoming facility reflective ofour region's quality,” said Courtney Gregoire, president of thePort of Seattle Commission.

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The project includes the main international arrivals facilityfor baggage claim and customs processing, an 85-foot high aerialwalkway that will connect passengers from the South Satellite and anew security corridor that will allow dual use of gates onConcourse A for both international and domestic arrivingflights.

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“It is an opportunity to look ahead at what we have yet toachieve and reaffirm our commitment to delivering a project ofwhich all stakeholders can be proud,” said Brian Ahern, ClarkConstruction vice president and project director in charge ofconstruction of the international arrivals facility. “We lookforward to continuing the spirit of collaboration that has beenestablished on site and working side-by-side with Port of Seattleand airline representatives to deliver the IAF safely, swiftly andsuccessfully.”

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Construction is scheduled to be complete by May 31, 2020 withfacility activation and testing to follow for public use opening inthe fall of 2020.

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“Like the other stakeholders of this region, Delta long ago sawthe potential for Sea-Tac to expand its reach and become a trulyworld-class international gateway,” said Tony Gonchar, Delta's vicepresident-Seattle. “Today's milestone brings us closer to thatvision. As Seattle's largest global airline and the largest futureuser of this facility, we know our customers and this region areready for the benefits to come.”

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An independent review panel convened by the Port of SeattleCommission reported on September 11, 2018, the price andconstruction of the program of projects are both “reasonable andachievable.”

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“The existing 1970s-era facilities cannot accommodate Seattle'sgrowing demand for international travel,” Ahern tells GlobeSt.com.“In addition to the three new elements, supporting projects willinclude expanding power, fiber optic technology and high-efficiencybaggage services will significantly speed-up processing during peakinternational arrival periods.”

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The facility is expected to support approximately 10,600 jobs,including 500 jobs a day during a months-long peak constructionperiod.

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“With this incredible economic boom the Seattle region isexperiencing, we hear a lot about the historic records being brokenon jobs and the number of construction cranes in the sky. But whatwe don't hear enough about is the human upside: beneath all of thehardhats are real, local people who are working hard day in and dayout for this economy,” said Monty Anderson, executive secretary,Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council. “The investmentshere at the airport are creating thousands of good family-wage jobsfrom our local communities and will help build the next generationof construction workers, opening new doors through apprenticeshipsfor women, people of color, veterans and others who aredisadvantaged.”

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By next summer, Alaska Airlines partners will offer upwards of80 flights per week out of Sea-Tac, says Diana Birkett Rakow, vicepresident of external relations for Alaska Airlines.

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is an editor for the south and west regions of GlobeSt.com. She has 25-plus years of real estate experience, with a regional PR role at Grubb & Ellis and a national communications position at MMI. Brown also spent 10 years as executive director at NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter, where she led the organization to achieving its first national award honors and recognition on Capitol Hill. She has written extensively on commercial real estate topics and edited numerous pieces on the subject.