North Satellite Expansion and Modernisation Project, Seattle-Tacoma Airport, United States of America


Seattle-Tacoma Airport

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the US, and handled 45.7 million passengers in 2016 alone. Port of Seattle is the owner and operator of the airport.

Port of Seattle broke ground for the North Satellite Modernisation project in February 2017 as part of the airport modernisation plan. The new project will upgrade the 44-year-old satellite facility and expand the terminal, creating more space to accommodate the growing number of passengers at the Seattle airport.

Alaska Airlines is the only tenant of the North Satellite, and is actively working with Port of Seattle to complete the project.

The development is also expected to enhance business opportunities within the terminal by expanding the dining and retail space.

The entire project will last for five years, with completion currently scheduled for 2021. It will create more than 5,000 jobs during the construction phase.

Design of the North Satellite Modernisation project

The expansion project's design takes cue from the airport's existing architecture, including the choice of colours, materials and the roof form, to create a new space that blends smoothly with the existing construction.

The roof is inspired by the natural environment of the native rivers and water of Washington, while its design functionality will bring more natural light into the facility.

Interior sections are designed to feature wide concourses made of materials, colours and finishes that reflect the Pacific Northwest environment, and the terminal's open design is set to be complemented by a living wall art piece inspired by nature.

North Satellite terminal expansion and modernisation details

The expansion project will focus on improving the operational efficiency of the terminal, while enhancing the travel experience for passengers. It will expand the footprint of the terminal by 201,000ft², including an extension of the building by 240ft towards the west.

Eight new gates (to be numbered 12-20) will be added, in order to increase the site's aircraft parking capacity. A new upper level mezzanine will also be developed, with open circulation areas and a new dining area that will provide views of the airfield.

The terminal's third floor will include a new rooftop lounge for Alaska Airlines passengers, who will be able to enjoy the nearby mountain views. The overall dining and retail space will be doubled to 46,000ft², creating opportunities for more concessions and passenger seating areas.

New passenger amenities such as power outlets and charging stations will also be provided to enhance customer experience.

Baggage handling systems will be upgraded, along with improvements to access walkways, elevators and stairway. The transit system lobby will also be renovated to improve passenger movement. New dynamic and interactive signage is to be installed throughout the terminal, which will also offer Wi-Fi services to its customers.

Alaska Airlines is focusing on lounge interior designing with the aim of creating additional work space and a number of other developments, including giving a new look and branding to the ticketing and gate areas, as well as maintenance hangar painting work.

Other projects that have been completed as part of the modernisation project include refurbishment of satellite baggage systems, and the development of a new exterior walkways at concourse C.

Construction details of the North Satellite Expansion

The expansion and renovation project is being carried out in two phases.

Phase one will contain the facility's expansion works, while the second phase will modernise and upgrade the facilities in the existing part of the terminal.

The expanded terminal will be opened to public in the second quarter of 2019, while the second phase is due for completion in 2021.

The North Satellite will remain operational during the entire construction period.

Financing for the North Satellite Modernisation

The total estimated investment for the North Satellite Modernisation project is $550m, which will be funded through a combination of airline fees, development funds, and passenger facility charge revenues. Funds from Airport taxes are not currently planned to be used for the development.

"The expansion project's design takes cue from the airport's architecture to create a new space that blends smoothly with the existing construction."

The terminal's current sole tenant Alaska Airlines has agreed to contribute $41m towards the development of the new lounge and employee spaces.

Contractors involved in the project

Design and construction firm Hensel Phelps has been appointed as general contractor and construction manager (GCCM) for the project.

The electrical subcontractor is VECA Electric & Technologies, and the mechanical subcontractor is Hermanson Company.

Mazzetti has been appointed as the lead HVAC and plumbing engineering consultant for the project.

The expansion was designed by global design firm Fentress Architects.