North Satellite to get facelift at Sea-Tac
Sea-Tac Airport’s 40-year-old North Satellite Terminal will undergo an estimated $230 million remodeling and expansion to bring the terminal up to 21st-century standards, the airport’s owner announced this week.
The Port of Seattle Commission this week gave final approval to begin designs for the terminal renovation. Actual construction is expected to start in 2014 with completion two years later. The terminal will remain open during the overhaul.
In addition to the upgrade, the North Satellite also will undergo a change in usage with Sea-Tac’s biggest airline, Alaska Airlines, becoming the terminal’s sole tenant. The terminal was built in the early ’70s. It then was occupied almost exclusively by United Airlines, then the airport’s biggest tenant.
Over the last decade, Alaska has moved more of its operations into the terminal as United’s presence has shrunk.
The remodeling program will add three gates and a new penthouse club for Alaska frequent fliers to the building.
Some of Alaska’s operations will remain in the C Concourse as well as part of the D Concourse, though the airline will largely vacate gates on D allowing those gates to be converted into common user gates that can be used by multiple airlines.
“This project directly addresses our Century Agenda goal to meet the region’s air transportation needs at Sea-Tac Airport for the next 25 years,” said Commission President Gael Tarleton. “The north satellite is 40 years old and has had only limited upgrades. It’s due.”
Alaska and the Port of Seattle, the airport’s owner, will share the cost of the renovation. The port estimates its portion of the project will cost about $194 million. That money will be raised by rental and landing fees charged airline tenants. No taxes will be used to pay the project costs.
Alaska will fund building out the interior of its new roof-top lounge and employee spaces at the north satellite. Final financial figures will be determined as design is completed.