Seattle airport, America’s 15th busiest, gears up for billion-dollar upgrade

The port of Seattle is close to authorising $1bn worth of improvements at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, including bringing it up to earthquake standards. 

Work includes updating the north and south satellite terminals, building a new international arrivals complex, reconstructing the centre runway and building a bridge between the south satellite terminal and international arrivals. 

Design work has just begun on the international arrivals centre, which could cost up to $400m, Port of Seattle executives say. 

$191m has already been earmarked for eight additional gates in the airport, up from the current 12. $5m has been allocated to update the south terminal’s interior. 

$27.9m and $20.7m have been assigned to bring the airport to earthquake standards and to update the electricity system respectively. 

The airport is one of the 15 busiest in the U.S. with an estimated 37 million passengers every year. 

The improvements will be funded by the airport’s airline tenants.  

Construction is due to start next year and finish in 2019 with the airport being operational throughout the renovations.

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