Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Reveals Renovated North Satellite Gates

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in the US state of Washington has reached a milestone in the renovation of its North Satellite. The facility, which dates back to the 1970s, has also been refurbished alongside the expansion, allowing passengers to enjoy more natural light. The vibrant area also celebrates Seattle’s Pacific Northwest surroundings.

Seattle Airport
The airport is a key hub for carriers like Alaska Airlines and Delta. Photo: Don Wilson/Port of Seattle

The old North Satellite

Your pre-flight experience in an airport’s terminal building can play a big part in how you feel when boarding your flight. It is always nice to sit down onboard after having had a positive experience beforehand, putting you in a good mood for the rest of your flight. One aspect that can help to make airport terminals feel more welcoming is the presence of natural light.

However, this was unfortunately not something that Seattle-Tacoma‘s North Satellite had in abundance until fairly recently. Dating back to the 1970s, its low ceilings served to minimize the presence of natural light. Thankfully, the renovation and expansion mean that this is no longer the case, as Port of Seattle Commissioner Ryan Calkins explains:

The updated North Satellite is going to come as a surprise to long-time travelers. What was once dimly lit with low ceilings and few options is now bright, spacious, and welcoming. It’s so nice that you might arrive a little early to enjoy the art, food, and other amenities. And the whole experience celebrates the Pacific Northwest and our spectacular surroundings.”

Seattle Airport Passengers
Long-term users of the North Satellite have a pleasant surprise in store. Photo: Don Wilson/Port of Seattle

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The new facility

When the airport announced the milestone this week, it had opened two of the facility’s new gates. By the end of next month, another 10 will be in use. The renovation and expansion will serve to reduce crowing thanks to it “nearly doubling the square footage of operational space” in the North Satellite – a welcome touch amid the present pandemic.

Alongside the extra gates and natural light, passengers will also be able to enjoy more choices in terms of catering after the project. Indeed, the Port of Seattle adds that “dining and retail options Tundra Taqueria, SEA Roast Coffee House, Pike & Pine, and Filson open this summer.” Avgeeks will be pleased to know that airfield-view seating is also inbound.

Seattle-Tacoma International from the air. Photo: Timo Breidenstein via Wikimedia Commons

A focus on art and sustainability

Passengers passing through the revamped North Satellite will also be able to enjoy a selection of local artwork. This includes an immersive piece known as Boundary, as seen in the YouTube clip below. Port of Seattle Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck stated that:

Thanks to the creativity and vision of Northwest artists, the new North Satellite is filled with meaningful and memorable art that fits in well with this spectacular new facility.”

The project also had a strong emphasis on sustainability. For example, 76% of waste from the project was recycled, amounting to 20,000 tons. Furthermore, $21 million was spent on recyclable materials to use in the renovation and expansion. In terms of water use, the new area will harness rainwater to flush its toilets, saving 2.8 million gallons a year.

What do you make of Seattle-Tacoma’s new gates? Will you be hoping to use them during your next visit to the airport? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.