One of the fastest-growing airports in the United States, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, will soon be the subject of a study to understand the ongoing impacts of the growth on operations at the airport and in the communities that surround it.

With operations growing 23 percent in recent years and continuing to climb — making it one of the fastest-growing airports in North America — with ongoing construction projects that remake portions of the North Satellite, include an entirely new International Arrivals Facility, a remake of the Central Terminal and more, Stantec was hired in July to evaluate the impacts the growth is having in and around the airport. 

The impacts Stantec will assess include air-traffic noise, public health, traffic, congestion, parking in residential areas, pedestrian access to and around the airport, public safety and crime within the cities, effects on residential and non-residential property values and economic development opportunities. The study is co-funded with $300,000 from the neighboring cities and an additional $300,000 from Washington state. 

“Stantec brings a national reputation with a deep understanding of local community perspective,” Mark Barkley, assistant director of the local government division at Commerce, says in a statement. “Combined with expertise in bringing together planning, engineering, design and science, their comprehensive approach aligns with our mission of strengthening communities.” 

Stantec will also be responsible for research and collecting data and relevant information from all appropriate sources to develop the study, readied by June 2020. “We’re excited to again work with the state of Washington and the communities directly around Sea-Tac Airport on this important project,” Joe Pobiner, Stantec project manager and senior associate, says in a statement. “Sea-Tac is an important asset to both the Seattle metropolitan area and the state of Washington. The results of this study will provide a framework to better understand how the airport’s growth touches South King County in a variety of ways.” 

Upgrades at the North Satellite terminal improves the 40-year-old portion of the airport with modernizations, renewals and replacements of many of its basic systems. The new International Arrivals Facility, what the airport calls the most complex capital development program in the history of the 69-year-old airport, will improve the arrival process for international passengers without adding new gates. The Central Terminal renovation, a nearly $17 million project, adds 10,000 sq ft of shops and restaurants, including a second-floor mezzanine, and plenty of new names in dining. At the same time, work is ongoing to update the aging baggage handling system and an annex to Concourse D. 

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