Sea-Tac developing $4 billion plan that includes new terminal

As Sea-Tac Airport keeps adding flights and breaking passenger records, the Port of Seattle is making plans to build a new terminal.

The Sustainable Airport Master Plan includes 30 projects, roughly estimated to cost $4 billion, to add capacity to the airport by 2027.

A second phase, which doesn't have a cost estimate, would add facilities to meet the airport's projected needs in 2035.

The airport is not looking to buy land or expand its footprint.

Instead, officials plan to shoehorn in a new terminal north of the North Satellite, on land currently leased by Doug Fox Parking.

Passengers would check in at a new building, then cross a skybridge over the airport's access road to board their planes in a second building.

Part of the airport drive would have to move.

An above-ground people mover train is also planned to run between Sea-Tac's terminals and service the rental car facility.

In an interview with KIRO 7, Lance Lyttle, Sea-Tac's managing director, said the first phase would include 19 gates, and the second phase would add 15 more.

"We don't have enough gates right now to accommodate the demand for passengers," Lyttle said.

The airport is expanding its use of "hard stands," where planes load and offload passengers from ramps directly onto the airport pavement and shuttle them to the terminal in buses.

Port officials say the number of passengers using hard stands so far in 2018 has surpassed the number for all of 2017.

Plans for a new airport terminal come as Sea-Tac is renovating the North Satellite and building a new International Arrivals Facility.

Costs for the IAF recently rose again to $830 million.

Lyttle said a new terminal would be funded through passenger facility charges, grants, airport money and bonds.

He says the $4 billion estimate for the first phase includes an assumption of escalated costs because of the demand for construction work in the Seattle area.

The next step is an environmental review, which is expected to begin in September and be complete at the end of 2019.

More news from KIRO 7