Sea-Tac considering moving a security checkpoint to baggage claim level

Managing record crowds at Sea-Tac Airport could mean moving a TSA checkpoint downstairs.

Port officials are considering moving Checkpoint 1, which opened for the busy summer travel season at the south end of the airport, directly downstairs near the arrivals hall.

The move would displace a baggage carousel and be a change for passengers long accustomed to going through security on the ticketing level.

"It's about the efficiency of the space," said Perry Cooper of the Port of Seattle.

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Passenger traffic grew 43 percent in just five years, and, compared to other major airports, Sea-Tac has a small footprint with little room to grow.

The port hopes to build a new 19-gate terminal on the airport's north end by 2027  as part of a master plan and is looking for solutions that can work in the meantime.

Port commissioners will be briefed Tuesday on efforts to manage crowds in the airport's main terminal, and in September will likely be asked to allocate money to study short-term changes.

They include moving Checkpoint 1 downstairs and encouraging airlines to move from traditional ticket counters to walk-through designs, like Alaska and Delta, to allow a better flow of security lines.

If the checkpoint is moved downstairs, passengers exiting security would then either head down to a train for the south satellite or up to their gate in the main terminal.