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Sea-Tac Airport Seeks Input On Expansion

Don Wilson
Port of Seattle

With a growing economy comes a crowded airport.  Port of Seattle officials say the annual number of passengers traveling through Sea-Tac will double to 66 million in the next 20 years. The question is how to accommodate them.

A plan, called the Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP), is being circulated by the Port of Seattle and will be presented at a series of public meetings, the first one on Thursday, March 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Seattle Central Library.

One thing the Port of Seattle is making clear is that, even though 35 new gates will have to be added and there will be more planes and flights, the Master Plan does not include adding another runway. 

“This is a plan that’s going to be with no new runway, so this is just the current three runway system and it’s basically within the footprint of the land we have right now,” said Perry Cooper, Sea-Tac Airport spokesman.

There was a very long and protracted legal battle, with residents near the airport suing to stop it, before the third runway opened in 2008.

Options in the new master plan include expanding the north and south satellite terminals or putting gates in areas now used for cargo and maintenance, although that would require putting those facilities someplace else.

The master plan is just in the preliminary stage right now, with public open houses being held to get input. In addition to Thursday night's meeting, there will be an open house Thursday, April 2, at the Bellevue Public Library from 5 to 7 p.m.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.