New SEA International Arrivals Facility | Seattle/Tacoma International Airport

All arriving flights will use the new facility from 10 May 2022

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) today announced the final schedule for the activation and opening of the new International Arrivals Facility (IAF). The IAF will begin serving a limited number of inbound passenger flights on a trial basis in the final phase of readiness preparations.

“Global connections and connectivity make our region more dynamic and resilient,” said Seattle Port Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed. “As a welcoming port focused on customer service, this new international arrivals facility brings together all of our values ​​of economic opportunity, sustainability and inclusion in one remarkable building.”

From the week of April 19, a limited number of international flights arriving between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. will disembark from the A gates to the IAF via a new international security corridor. This allows eight gates in Concourse A to be used for domestic or international wide-body flights, with direct access to the IAF.

In early May, the airport will expand its trials to include flights from Concourse S. These passengers will travel through an active taxi lane on the iconic 85-foot-tall skywalk leading to the IAF Grand Concourse, a recovery area baggage and customs processing area of ​​450,000 square feet that is more than four times larger than the previous space.

All arriving flights will begin using the international arrivals facility on May 10. The new passenger walkway, Concourse A extension, and IAF Grand Concourse will work together to dramatically improve the arrival experience for international travelers and advance the Puget Sound region as a tourism gateway and leading business.

“We only have one chance to create a first impression, and we want it to say what this country and this region is all about,” said SEA chief executive Lance Lyttle. “The IAF reinforces our commitment to incredible, innovative and intuitive customer experiences. Upon entering the United States, you will soon be greeted with a breathtaking facility and experience.

“We are thrilled that Delta customers will soon begin enjoying the benefits of this state-of-the-art international arrivals facility,” said Scott Santoro – vice president of sales – West at Delta Air Lines. “As Seattle’s largest global airline and largest future user of this facility, Delta is committed to improving the customer experience in a way that will serve Seattle well in the future, while helping to meet growing demand. of international services in the Puget Sound area. , both for business and for tourism.

“We look forward to all of our guests – whether traveling with Alaska Airlines, our other Oneworld member airlines, or our other airline partners – to experience the convenience and beauty of the new international arrivals facility,” said Nat Pieper, senior vice president of fleet, finance and alliances at Alaska Airlines. “Arriving in Seattle from destinations around the world will never be the same again with all the dramatic and modern upgrades. This is a pivotal moment.”

Launch sequence enabled

A lot is happening behind the scenes to ensure that the largest and most complex capital project in the Port’s history moves smoothly from the construction phase to active airport operations. This process is called operational readiness, activation and transition (ORAT).

SEA’s ORAT team is conducting this activation period in close collaboration with federal agencies and partner airlines. Familiarization and training tours for tenants and frontline staff are currently underway as a critical step in activation as well as operational testing, including:

  • Carousels and baggage handling system
  • Build preparation for HVAC, waste management, restrooms and other amenities
  • Safety and emergency response exercises
  • “The Big Flush” to check that the water system keeps pace with heavy use

One of the most complex tests is the simulation of passenger flow. Hundreds of volunteers will serve as passengers to test the facility before it opens to the public. Participants will assess parts of their passenger’s journey, such as elevators and escalators, wayfinding and signage, baggage claim, inspection and re-checking. These are the last imperative steps to welcome travelers with a welcome worthy of the Pacific Northwest. The public is invited to register and volunteer for the passenger flow simulation on April 9 to get a first-hand look at this state-of-the-art addition to the airport!

International Service at SEA

A total of 37 international services are in operation at SEA, offering non-stop flights to 23 unique international destinations. Seven new international services to SEA have been announced since 2020, such as Qatar-Doha, WestJet-Calgary and Alaska-Belize City which started service in 2021. Turkish Airlines-Istanbul, Air Canada-Montreal and Finnair-Helsinki will start service in summer 2022 and launch of Air Tahiti Nui in October 2022.

Welcome here, welcome home

SEA has just been certified as the second major hub airport in the United States to earn the travel industry’s prestigious Skytrax 4-Star Airport Rating. This achievement follows a series of improvements that enhance the airport experience, including beautifully modernized spaces such as the international arrivals facility.

More predictable and less stressful arrival and customs clearance:

  • Almost double international gates from 12 to 20
  • More than double passenger capacity to 2,600 passengers per hour
  • “Bags First” reunites passengers with their bags before going through security. SEA is the first major airport hub in the country with this program!
  • Added additional amenities passengers need such as nursing rooms, pet relief areas, and restrooms throughout the customs journey
  • Incorporate enhanced technologies for faster passport clearance
  • Increased the size and number of bag retrieval carousels from four to seven
  • Reduced minimum passenger connection time from 90 to 75 minutes

The IAF is as smart and efficient as it is sustainable and designed with Pacific Northwest values.

In order to fulfill the Port’s mission of environmental stewardship and sustainability, this facility incorporates important green building elements:

  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce indoor water usage
  • Energy saving features such as LED lighting, energy efficient escalator motors and variable speed motors on baggage handlers
  • Two-thirds of the building is lit with daylight to connect travelers to the outdoors, boost circadian rhythms and reduce energy consumption
  • Conscientious construction with 7,163 tons of contaminated soil and 62,405 gallons of impacted stormwater removed from the project site, many materials from within 100 miles, low-emitting adhesives, materials and coatings, and most construction waste was diverted from landfills

The architecture of the IAF reflects the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and even the artwork evokes the natural beauty of this region through color, shape and movement. Color choices, architectural elements and artwork will welcome travelers to the natural beauty of our region:

  • Sunrise, mountain views, and natural light fill the floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Materials feature the blues of sea and sky, and the greens and organic textures of mountains and forests
  • Over 100,000 square feet of terrazzo flooring sourced from local stone forms a rocky pattern that evokes the colors and textures of a rocky Pacific Ocean beach
  • Wood accents bring warmth and nature to the space
  • A courtyard with plants and trees will give off a glow of our namesake emerald green as you exit to the rest of the airport
  • Chalchiutlicue, a five-piece sculpture by artist Marela Zacarías, above the bag retrieval carousels, is inspired by the colors of the waterways and sunsets of the San Juan Islands
  • Magnetic Anomaly, three kinetic works of art created by Ned Kahn, consist of suspended rotating metal mobiles that are inspired by the ever-changing wind and weather patterns of the Pacific Northwest.
  • And Indigenous art is coming soon to the IAF with works by six Native American artists, including renowned glass artist Preston Singletary and interdisciplinary artists Marie Watt

As regional beauty and sustainability take center stage, the IAF responds to the needs of our global and diverse community. The Port of Seattle is one of the main contributors to the region’s economic recovery, and it depends on a thriving, welcoming and inclusive international airport for all.


Perry Cooper | SEA Airport Press Officer
(206) 787-4923 | [email protected]

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