Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Improving the flying experience at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) from airport drop-off to departure

Airports, those bustling hubs of activity where planes take off and land, serve as vital connectors in our interconnected world. More than mere infrastructure, airports weave together the fabric of global connectivity – linking people, culture and aspirations. 

SEA is no exception. Operated by the Port of Seattle (the Port), SEA serves the people of the Pacific Northwest and beyond with essential services, access to hundreds of domestic and global destinations, and economic activity that supports tens of thousands of jobs and produces $20 billion in economic activity.

Given continuous expected growth, SEA is working with partners like Jacobs to improve the passenger experience – from airport drop-off to departure – and we’re helping several key projects and programs across the airport take flight.

Elevating the experience at SEA

Jacobs has a long and successful history working with the Port of Seattle having been involved with development of facilities at the Port of Seattle since 1987. Our team has performed planning, design, project management and construction support services on airfield projects, landside facilities (rental car, parking garage, roadways), terminal facilities (concourses, terminal, infrastructure), and support facilities.

Some of our recent efforts include:

SEA North Sea-Tac Airport Renovation (NorthSTAR) Program – With passenger growth ten times higher now than when the Seattle North Satellite facility opened in the 1970s, and without any major updates or renovations since, it was time for an upgrade. The $753 million North Satellite Terminal expansion—the main element of the NorthStar Program—delivered critical gate capacity and revenue-generating projects, including reconfiguration as a new 20-gate terminal with a new 8-gate addition.

Leveraging experience from similar complex infrastructure programs, Jacobs provided aviation project management expertise and on-call technical expertise across the NorthSTAR program. We integrated with the airport delivery team providing as-needed aviation planning and design management, tenant improvements and construction management resources. By working with the Port on change negotiations, we also improved team and subcontractor morale and provided a standard process for processing change orders. These improvements expedited construction, making this one of the Port’s first mega-projects to be delivered months ahead of schedule and $24 million under budget.

SEA S Concourse Evolution – Continuing on the NorthSTAR success, the Port selected Jacobs (in 2023) to lead and manage the 10-year renovation of the S Concourse at SEA. The $1.6 billion  modernization of the 50-year-old concourse includes improving operating systems, environmental efficiencies and earthquake resiliency – prioritizing seismic updates. We’re providing full project management services, including project controls, estimating and scheduling support, development of enabling facilities supporting phase construction (airside, terminal, utilities), and a complete gate utilization strategy. In addition, Jacobs will provide advisory services for passenger flow analysis, airport and airline tenant engagement, and evaluation of sustainable building opportunities such as rainwater harvesting, eliminating the use of natural gas and the installation of sustainable alternative power sources, including solar energy. 

Airfield Pavement and Utility Infrastructure Design, Engineering and Construction Support Services – We’re  delivering our third consecutive (2015, 2018 and 2020) contract to provide airfield design services. Our current assignment is in support of the Port’s 2020-2025 Airfield Pavement and Supporting Infrastructure Program (APSIRP) valued at $165 million. Our team prepares annual construction bid packages to facilitate detailed phasing and logistics planning required to reconstruct the air carrier apron pavement and underground utilities in and around active aircraft gates at each of SEA’s six concourses. In addition to our development of construction bid documents we are also supporting the Port with development of airfield, jet fuel and civil design standards.

SEA Gateway (North Main Terminal) Program – We’re providing project and construction management services to modernize the north end of the main terminal ticketing level (Zones 6 and 7). The Port and Alaska Airlines have partnered in a multi-phase, tenant reimbursement agreement (TRA) to improve passenger processing, security screening throughput, and the overall passenger experience. 

The completed program will raise service levels in key functional areas and contribute to the Port’s strategic objective to “…continuously improve the operational efficiency and customer experience at SEA.” The Port and Alaska Airlines have elected progressive design-build delivery under the TRA. We represent the Port’s interests in program design, permitting, construction oversight, schedule, budget and advisory services for the financial and business portions of the TRA.

SEA C Concourse Expansion – The new C Concourse reflects the unique opportunity SEA had to expand the building vertically—from three to five stories—and create facilities that meet current passenger and tenant demands in concourse areas, retail and food/beverage tenant spaces, airport lounge spaces, office spaces, restrooms, vertical circulation (i.e., elevators, escalators, and stairs), loading dock, and other related support areas. We’re providing both project and construction management services. 

Project Management Indefinite Deliverable/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract – Since 2015, we’ve been providing project management services for capital, expense, airport, dining, and retail tenant improvement and TRA projects from planning through design, construction and closeout. Serving shoulder-to-shoulder as augmentation to Port staff, Jacobs project managers are fully immersed in the processes, procedures and delivery of some of the most time sensitive projects at SEA, ranging from reconfiguration of passenger security screening checkpoints to enhancements to narrow body gates to accommodate widebody aircraft which will be displaced by the plan S Concourse Evolution project.