DALLAS – The new International Arrivals Facility (IAF) at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is now fully operational.
The facility replaces the 50-year-old customs processing facility and improves the passenger experience by offering views of the Pacific Northwest, more international-capable gates and passenger capacity, and enhanced technologies that expedite baggage and passport check processes.
The phased opening of the IAF began on April 19 with a limited number of international flights providing a “trial run” for the new site. A limited number of international flights that arrived between 6 and 9 a.m. deplaned from A gates into the IAF via a new international security corridor.
According to the Seattle Times, the very first passengers at the facility flew in on Delta Airlines flight 196 from Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN).
In early May, the airport expanded its trial runs to include flights arriving from the S Concourse. Later in the month, all arrivals began using the International Arrivals Facility.
“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.”
During the runup to the opening, hundreds of members of the public tested the facility, acting as arriving and departing passengers. The volunteers evaluated all aspects of the experience including HVAC, elevators and escalators, pedestrian traffic flow, and baggage claim.
SEATAC International Destinations
The Times lists the international services that have debuted or been announced over the past two years. This includes Qatar Airways (QR) to Doha (DOH) and Alaska Airlines (AS) seasonal service to Belize (BZE). American Airlines (AA) flights to London (LHR), and WestJet’s (WS) service to Calgary (YYC).
Yet to come are Turkish Airlines (TK) flying to Istanbul (IST), Finnair (AY) with service to Helsinki (HEL), and Air Canada (AC) to Montreal (YUL). Service to Tahiti (PPT) via Air Tahiti Nui (TN) should begin in September.
Featured image: New International Arrivals Facility at SEATAC Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Photo: PortSeattle.org