North Satellite Modernization Fire Protection Engineering


Port of Seattle


Sea-Tac International Airport




Fire Protection


Civic & Public

Project Team
Mike Lehner
Associate, Senior Project Manager
Paul Greenwalt
Project Manager
Melissa Evans
Project Assistant
David Woods
Engineering Production Specialist/CAD
Improving the Passenger Experience with Eight New Gates and Double the Dining and Retail Space

In 2019, SeaTac International Airport served nearly 52 million passengers, nearly half of which flew Alaska Airlines. SeaTac continues to be one of the fastest growing airports in the United States. To keep up with demand and maintain a commitment to delivering an exceptional travel experience for its customers, the Port of Seattle and Alaska Airlines established an unprecedented working arrangement to deliver a 200,000 SF expansion and modernization of the 45-year old North Satellite terminal, with minimal disruptions for passengers and employees.

We provided fire protection engineering for the two-phase project, designing wet- and dry-pipe sprinkler systems, window deluge fire sprinklers, standpipe systems, and a fire pump. We also supported critical smoke control systems planning and design.

The expanded terminal's atrium spaces include impressive high ceilings, leading to challenging smoke control requirements. Our team performed several computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to help the Port of Seattle Fire Department determine what level of exhaust was needed in the space to assure that egress pathways would be clear in the event of a fire. CFD modeling helped us design this space so that if there is a fire in the terminal, people can get out in the safest way possible.

In total, the project included eight new gates, 12 updated gates, a new upper-level mezzanine featuring the Alaska Airlines Lounge, a new 13,000 SF Alaska Airlines board room, and dining and retail expansions.

The project received an ENR Northwest Best Projects 2022 Award for Best Airport/Transit Project.

Image: AECOM