Longest runway at Sea-Tac Airport will be closed until December


The Port of Seattle on Sunday, Sept. 9 closed the longest runway (designated 16L/34R) at Sea-Tac Airport for an estimated 90 days, for “several upgrades related to the opening of the expansion of the North Satellite Modernization project set for early next year.”

The other two runways will be used during the upgrade construction.

The closure was initially delayed due to a recent labor strike, but began late in the evening last Sunday, Sept. 9.

“The closure is not expected to cause major delays as the other two runways will be used during the construction, however, weather can cause potential delays,” the Port said. “The Port has been working with our airline partners to make the adjustment as seamless as possible. Area homeowners will see air traffic shifting to the other two runways during the construction period.”

No word on how this might affect overflights or increased airplane noise in our area.

The Port added:

“We do not expect this to cause major delays as we will use the other two runways during the construction. However, during peak periods we could see additional aircraft traffic in line for departures. We have been working with our airline partners to make the adjustment as seamless as possible. As in the past when we’ve had runway work occurring, area homeowners will see air traffic shifting to the other two runways during that time.

“During a major portion of the construction (70 of the 90 days, upgrading taxiway B), the long runway will actually be used as a taxiway for aircraft. Air Traffic Control will have this option available to them to keep traffic flowing. In some cases, during north flow, this could increase your taxi time. During peak periods it may be necessary to taxi aircraft to the north of the airfield and then all the way back to the south end, by use of Taxiway T (Tango) in between the center (16C/34C) and westernmost (16R/34L) runways. This is necessary as the closure of the nearest runway reduces how many aircraft can lineup for takeoff on the south before they create congestion around the terminal gates and block taxiways coming out of gates.”

For more information on the details of the construction, view this blog post on the Port’s Newsroom page.


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