The presentation by Sea-Tac Airport staff will take place onÂ Tuesday, March 24, at the SeaTac City Council meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m.Â in the SeaTac City Council Chambers, first floor of SeaTac City Hall, located at 4800 South 188th Street.
by Ralph Nichols
The population around Puget Sound is growing by leaps and bounds – something commuters, whether driving alone or taking mass transit, know all too well as they spend more time slowed in congested traffic lanes.
And there’s no end in sight. The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) projects that by 2040 the area’s population will increase by 1,712,000 residents above the 2000 census – including 50,000 new residents in the primary cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Everett and Bremerton.
Another 369,000 people are expected to locate in smaller “core cities” around the Sound, which include Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila, Renton, Kent and Federal Way.
This population growth will, in turn, spur economic development and tourism throughout the region – increasing the need to accommodate passenger growth at Sea-Tac International Airport.
Last year Sea-Tac was the fastest growing large hub airport in the U.S., serving nearly 37.5 million passengers. Over the next 20 years this number is likely to reach 66 million with over a 50 percent increase in aircraft takeoffs and landings.
As a first step toward efficiently managing this growth, the Port of Seattle has unveiled the Sea-Tac Sustainable Airport Master Plan – “a long-term blueprint for airport development to meet the needs of the traveling public, while reducing environmental and social impacts,” and maintaining its role as a major driver in Washington’s economy.
This plan, say port officials, will include new taxiways and other airfield development within the current three-runway configuration – there will be no new runway – and modernization and possible expansion of passenger terminals and air cargo facilities.
Projected needs to accommodate increasing commercial jet traffic include 35 additional aircraft gates – the airport currently has 88 gates – plus another 16 wide-body aircraft gates for international flights in addition to its existing 11.
UPDATE: TheÂ TuesdayÂ presentation to the SeaTac City Council is not an open house for the publicÂ – it is an update presentation by the port to the city council.
The port has already had two open houses, one in Des Moines (Mt. Rainier High SchoolÂ on March 4) and one in Seattle (Main Public Library on March 19) and will have a third at the Bellevue library on April 2nd.
You can find those dates on the Port’sÂ Sustainable Airport Master Plan website here:
For more information,Â download a PDF here:
Sea-Tac is the nation’s 14th busiest passenger airport and its air cargo operations rank 21st in the U.S. Washington is the most trade dependent state, according to the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, which, note airport staff, increases the importance of expanding air cargo facilities during this expansion process.]]>