Sea-Tac Airport's new International Arrivals Facility begins phased opening in April

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will begin a phased opening of its new International Arrivals Facility on April 19.

According to the announcement from the Port of Seattle, the new facility will begin serving a limited number of arriving flights as a trial run.

"Starting the week of April 19, a limited number of international flights arriving between 6 and 9 a.m. will deplane from A gates into the IAF via a new international security corridor. This allows eight A Concourse gates to be used for either domestic or international wide-body flights, with direct access into the IAF," officials wrote in a news release.

The new expansion was built to enhance the international passenger experience, and it will feature:

  • 450,000-square-foot grand hall for baggage claim and customs processing
  • 85-foot-high aerial walkway that will directly connect passengers from the South Satellite to the grand hall
  • New international corridor connecting arriving international passengers on Concourse A
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  (Port of Seattle)

Starting in early May, the airport will expand its trial run to include flights arriving from the S concourse. Passengers arriving internationally from S gates will use an 85-foot-high aerial walkway to cross over an active taxiway and into the Grand Hall for customs processing and baggage claim.

All arriving flights will begin using the new facility on May 10.

"We only get one opportunity to create a first impression, and we want it to say what this country and this region is all about," said SEA Managing Director Lance Lyttle. "The IAF solidifies our commitment to incredible customer experiences that are innovative and intuitive. Entering the United States, you will soon be greeted by a stunning facility and experience."

After the March reveal, Port of Seattle Spokesman Perry Cooper talked to FOX 13 Morning News about the improvements. 

"This will be a huge difference. The dramatic views, the size," he said. "And the idea as well too is the speed to get through it and reduce those connection times for those people heading out somewhere else."

"It’s a unique structure," Perry said.

The Port of Seattle said its existing facilities, which was built in the 70s, cannot accommodate Seattle's growing demand for international travel

SEA Airport has nonstop flights to 23 international destinations, including seven new destinations announced since 2020.

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