(Photo by Jeremy Lindgren)

Identifier FAA: SEA | IATA: SEA | ICAO: KSEA Airport Diagram
Lat/Long 47-26-59.6000N / 122-18-42.4000W47-26.993333N / 122-18.706667W47.4498889 / -122.3117778(estimated)
Elevation 433 ft. / 132.0 m (surveyed)
Variation 17E (2010)
From city 10 miles S of SEATTLE, WA
Time zone UTC -7 (UTC -8 during Standard Time)
Zip code 98188
Airport use Open to the public
Activation date 01/1944
Sectional chart Seattle
Control tower Yes
NOTAMs facility SEA (NOTAM-D service available)
Attendance Continuous
Wind indicator Lighted
Segmented circle No
Lights Dusk-Dawn
Beacon White-green (lighted land airport)
Landing fee Yes
Fire and rescue ARFF index E
International operations customs landing rights airport
Runway 16L/34R
Dimensions 11901 x 150 ft. / 3627 x 46 m
Surface asphalt/grooved, in poor condition
Weight bearing capacity
Single wheel:  100.0
Double wheel:  200.0
Double tandem:  357.0, ST 175
Dual double tandem:  888.0
Instrument approach Runway 16L: ILS/DME
  Runway 34R: ILS/DME




Runway 16C/34C
Dimensions 9426 x 150 ft. / 2873 x 46 m
Surface concrete/grooved, in fair condition
Weight bearing capacity
Single wheel:  100.0
Double wheel:  200.0
Double tandem:  350.0, ST 175
Dual double tandem:  800.0
Runway edge lights high intensity
Instrument approach Runway 16C: ILS/DME
  Runway 34C: ILS/DME
Runway 16R/34L
Dimensions 8500 x 150 ft. / 2591 x 46 m
Surface concrete/grooved, in good condition
Weight bearing capacity
Single wheel:  100.0
Double wheel:  216.0
Double tandem:  448.0
Dual double tandem:  1157.0, TDT 817
Runway edge lights high intensity
Instrument approach Runway 16R: ILS/DME
  Runway 34L: ILS/DME
Ownership and Management
Ownership Publicly-owned
BOX 1209
Phone 206-728-3201
BOX 68727
Phone 206-433-4682

SEA Live Traffic

SEA Sectional Chart

Flight Planning at SkyVector.com

Seattle-Tacoma Airport was constructed by the Port of Seattle in 1944 to serve civilians of the region, after the U.S. military took control of Boeing Field for use in World War II. The Port received $1 million from the Civil Aeronautics Administration to build the airport, and $100,000 from the City of Tacoma. Commercial use of the airport began after the war ended, with the first scheduled flights occurring in 1947. Two years later, the word International was added to the airport’s name as Northwest Airlines began direct service to Tokyo. The runway was lengthened twice, first in 1959 to allow use by jets, and again in 1961 to handle increased traffic for the upcoming Century 21 World’s Fair. The current terminal complex was built in 1959. In 1966, SAS inaugurated the airport’s first non-stop route to Europe. The Port embarked on a major expansion plan from 1967 to 1973, adding a second runway, a parking garage, two satellite terminals, and other improvements to the airport.Numerous residents of the surrounding area filed lawsuits against the Port in the early 1970s, complaining of noise, vibration, smoke, and other problems caused by the airport. The Port, together with the government of King County, adopted the Sea-Tac Communities Plan in 1976 to address the airport’s impact on the area and guide its future development. The Port spent more than $100 million over the next decade to buy out homes and school buildings in the immediate vicinity, and soundproof others nearby. In the mid 1980s Sea-Tac participated in the airport noise compatibility program initiated by Congress in 1979. Airport noise contours were developed, real estate was purchased and some homes were retrofitted to achieve noise mitigation.In 1978, the U.S. ended airline regulation. Subsequently, U.S. airlines were allowed to determine routes and fares without government approval. Deregulation resulted in new service to Seattle, including TWA, which was the fourth largest U.S. airline.

FAA diagram of Sea-Tac AirportAfter the death of U.S. Senator “Scoop” Jackson in 1983, the Seattle Port Commission voted to change the name of the airport to Henry M. Jackson International Airport, ostensibly to honor the late Senator. However, denizens of Tacoma interpreted the name change as an insult to their community —the second time in the airport’s history that the port authorities had attempted to remove “Tacoma” from the official name. But the $100,000 that Tacoma had provided for the airport’s construction during World War II had come with an explicit promise that the city would be included in the airport’s name. The City of Tacoma eventually prevailed in their attempt to return the long-standing moniker, and the name reverted to Sea-Tac early in 1984.

A view of the SeaTac Airport in September of 2007, as construction of the new runway 16R/34L was underway. The runway opened in November of 2008. Starting in the late 1980s, the Port of Seattle and a council representing local county governments considered the future of air traffic in the region and predicted that Sea-Tac Airport could reach capacity by 2000. The planning committee concluded in 1992 that the best solution was to add a third runway to Sea-Tac and construct a supplemental two-runway airport in one of the neighboring counties. Members of the community strongly opposed a third runway, as did Highline School District and the cities of Des Moines, Burien, Federal Way, Tukwila, and Normandy Park, but a 1994 study concluded there were no feasible sites for an additional airport. The Port of Seattle approved a plan for the new runway in 1996, prompting a lawsuit from opponents. The Port secured the necessary permits by agreeing to noise reduction programs and environmental protections. Runway opponents appealed these permits, but dropped their challenges in 2004. The runway opened on November 20, 2008, with a total construction cost of $1.1 billion.


  • November 30, 1947: Alaska Airlines Flight 009, a Douglas C-54A en route to Seattle from Anchorage, Alaska, landed in heavy fog and damp conditions after failed attempts at nearby Boeing Field and Paine Field in Everett. The plane touched down 2,748 feet (838 m) beyond the approach area to Runway 20 and sped onto a nearby road, colliding with an automobile and bursting into flames. Nine fatalities resulted from the accident, including a blind woman riding in the car.
  • April 2, 1956: Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2, a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser headed to Portland, Oregon and points east, experienced reduced power and extreme buffeting shortly after take-off due to an improper setting of the airplane’s cowl flaps by the flight engineer. Plans were initially made to land at McChord Air Force Base, but the pilot was forced to make a water landing in Puget Sound east of Maury Island. The plane sank within 15 minutes; five of the 38 on board died.
  • November 24, 1971: Northwest Airlines Flight 305, a Boeing 727 flying to Sea-Tac from Portland International Airport, was hijacked by Mr. D. B. Cooper. Cooper released the passengers after landing in exchange for $200,000 and four parachutes, ordered the plane back into the air, and jumped out over Southwest Washington with the money.
  • April 15, 1988: Horizon Air Flight 2658, a twin-engine de Havilland Canada Dash-8 departing for Spokane, experienced a power loss in the #2 engine shortly after takeoff. While the crew lowered the gear for landing as they returned to the airport, a massive fire broke out in the right engine nacelle, resulting in a loss of braking and directional control. After touchdown, the aircraft veered off the runway and crossed the ramp, colliding with multiple jetways before coming to a stop. Four of the 37 passengers were seriously injured, but there were no fatalities.
  • February 28, 2001: The 2001 Nisqually earthquake damaged the Air Traffic Control tower at Sea-Tac, although a new earthquake-resistant tower was being built at the time to replace the old one. It is now operational.
  • December 26, 2005: Alaska Airlines Flight 536, an MD-83 headed from Seattle to Burbank, California, experienced a loss of cabin pressure shortly after takeoff. Emergency oxygen masks were deployed in the cabin and the aircraft returned to Sea-Tac to make an emergency landing. No fatalities or serious injuries were reported. According to the NTSB, a baggage handler admitted to failing to immediately report bumping the plane at the gate with baggage handling equipment. The dent created by bumping the aircraft became a 1-foot (30 cm) gash when the aircraft reached altitude.
  • February 2009: More than a dozen planes landing in Seattle were targeted at night by bright green laser beams from a nearby neighborhood next to the airport. No accidents occurred, but local police and the FBI searched for suspects in the seemingly harmless prank that pilots do not take jokingly.
  • On 29 April 2009, Asiana Airlines Flight 271, a Boeing 777 flying from Seattle to Incheon International Airport (ICN) in South Korea with 179 passengers and 16 crew aboard, made an emergency landing shortly after taking off from Sea-Tac after fire and smoke were seen emanating from the left engine. The airplane dumped fuel over Puget Sound before landing safely at Sea-Tac around 3:30pm. As of May 4, 2009, a compressor stall is blamed for the incident. Local residents expressed environmental concerns about the fuel dump but authorities assured the general public that the fuel dump is not fatal or have any adverse consequences.


This page contains excerpts of Wikipedia entry Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, shared under the GNU Free Documentation License.