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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Seattle and JFK Airports Announce Further Expansion

The Port of Seattle Commission has approved the first step toward the multi-phase modernization of the main terminal at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) by approving construction funding and a new partnership that allows Alaska Airlines to manage this phase of the project.

In this first phase, the airport plans to reconfigure the 40-year-old main terminal north end ticketing area, expand the security checkpoint and upgrade facility systems to meet new technology and building standards. 

Alaska Airlines will lead the project as a tenant improvement with design and construction, which will be reimbursed by the Port. Overall, the estimated project cost is $400 million, with the first phase approved by the Commission at $149.5 million. The Port will reimburse Alaska for reasonable costs for work that would otherwise be done by the Port. The final cost split will be negotiated as the project progresses. 

The project’s first phase will add approximately 20,000 square feet of employee office and ticket counter space along undeveloped areas between the skybridges and the ticketing and bag claim levels. This will include new check-in kiosk and bag drop locations as well as office space to offset what will be demolished in the final stage.  

The second phase will reconfigure and open the passenger throughput on the ticketing level and redevelop the security checkpoint from five to seven lanes, upgrading a long-term bottleneck in the customer experience. 

Construction is set to begin in Q1 of 2022, followed by the beginning of Phase 2 construction in late Q4 of 2022. Estimated completion of Phase 1 is Q1 2023, with Phase 2 completing in Q2 2025.

Meanwhile, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) announced it has reached a revised agreement with The New Terminal One (NTO) – a consortium of financial sponsors – to build a 2.4 million square foot state-of-the-art new international terminal that will anchor the south side of John F. Kennedy International Airport. The $9.5 billion project will follow the expansion of the airport’s Terminal 4, which commenced construction on December 15.

As part of the NTO project, PANYNJ will undertake a number of infrastructure upgrades and improvements including roads, parking, and utilities including a new electrical substation. NTO will be built on the sites of the current undersized and outdated Terminal 1, the aging and obsolete 59-year-old Terminal 2, and the site of the former Terminal 3, which was demolished in 2013. Construction of the new terminal is scheduled to begin in mid-2022 and the first phase, including the new arrivals and departures hall and first set of new gates, is expected to open in 2026.  The project was initially scheduled to break ground in 2020.Due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 on air travel, the terms of the agreement needed to be restructured. 

NTO will ultimately have 23 new gates and will incorporate the latest advances in both sustainability and security. PANYNJ says the new terminal will include elements such as a touchless passenger journey, digital passenger flow and queue management, TSA security lanes featuring the latest technology, advanced video search analytics, biometric-based systems and a flexible design to accommodate future technology and/or regulatory changes.    

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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