By John Knicely, KIRO 7 News
Sea-Tac Airport is in the middle of rapid growth with three new international flights in the last two days. Since 2016, 11 new international airlines jumped in to serve Sea-Tac with 12 new international services.
“We’re growing internationally,” Port of Seattle Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck said. “And Seattle and the region are becoming and important place on Earth for business.”
On Monday, Delta started a nonstop flight to Osaka, Japan, and Cathay Pacific Airways started service to Hong Kong. On Sunday Japan Airlines started flights to Tokyo.
KIRO 7 spoke to JAL’s senior VP in September about the new International Arrivals Facility being built which he called “beautiful.”
“High technologies, because you have your Microsoft and Amazon in Seattle,”Tadashi Fujita said. “So, we are expecting more new technology terminal in the future.”
The International Arrivals Facility includes a 900-foot pedestrian sky bridge that will take passengers “over” a taxiway to the north satellite. It’s part of $3.7 billion being spent on 100 critical projects.
Steinbrueck pointed out the difficulties of major construction in a high-security environment, all while the airport runs at full capacity.
“It’s really challenging,” he said. “But we’re doing it. It’s getting done.”
The Port of Seattle estimates each new international route brings approximately $74 million in economic activity to the region. The new International Arrivals Facility will increase the number of gates capable of serving international wide-body airplanes from 12 to 20. And it’s scheduled to be done in August 2020.
“We’re not creating that demand, the Port of Seattle, SeaTac Airport,” Steinbrueck said. “We’re not creating that demand. It’s being created by what the Northwest has to offer here.”