Five new gates opened Wednesday at Sea-Tac Airport offering some reprieve for the congested North Satellite terminal.
It was a soft opening until the entirely new renovation work is complete.
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Walking into a new and bright five new gates at SeaTac Airport's North Satellite modernization, visitors can tell the difference between the new and old.
Mark Schaeffer tells KIRO 7 he had to come check out what the buzz was all about.
"That's why I was so surprised to be walking around the rest of the N gates and finding nobody. It's just like empty," Schaeffer said.
Commonly known as the 'N-gates' used by Alaska Airlines, the soft-opening of part of this $658 million dollar project was needed today as the already existing 12 gates are under a lot of pressure.
They're already 40 years old.
"This was a great opportunity to go as far as we can to the North without moving the fire station - and provide expansion. We're moving from 12 gates to 20 gates," said Ken Warren, the Capital Program Leader.
These five new gates are open, but the next phase of this project will see the shutdown of the old one. In 2021, visitors will see the entire area completely renovated.
Elsewhere at SeaTac Airport -- a new 10,000-foot expansion at the Central Terminal dining facility is continuing -- in a $17 million project.
Work there finishes next summer.
Work on a new International Arrivals Facility is still eight months behind schedule after costs ballooned from $600 million dollars to almost $1 billion.
It's expected to open next August.
"We're experiencing wait times right now that are unacceptable, and we look forward to that opportunity. Those increased gates mean the opportunity for more international connections," said Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle Commissioner.
There is still a lot of work to be done, and Sea-Tac Airport has seen explosive growth, from $33 million in 2012 to $47 million just five years later.
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