Sea-Tac Airport busier than ever

Steep increase in air cargo

Passenger and air cargo activity at Sea-Tac Airport continues to grow.

More than 46 million passengers passed through the airport in 2017, a 2.6 percent increase compared to the previous year.

While total passenger levels continue to grow, the growth rate shows signs of stabilizing.


In comparison, there was a 13 percent increase in passenger volumes from 2014 to 2015, and an 8 percent increase between 2015 and 2016.  The increase was 2.6 percent from 2016 to 2017. 

As passenger travel grows at a more moderate pace, air cargo continues its rapid increase.


The airport first saw a steep increase in air cargo volumes in 2015, when there was a 10 percent increase compared to the previous year.  This trend continues with the total air cargo volumes in 2017 showing a 16 percent increase compared to 2016.

Preparing for anticipated growth is part of the master planning process now underway at many of the region’s airports, including Sea-Tac.

PSRC is working with the Federal Aviation Administration on a regional aviation baseline study to build on these master planning processes and get ready for future planning.

The study will look at the dynamics of the region’s growing aviation activity, including the unique role of the regional aviation system in supporting the region as a global center for aerospace manufacturing.

The study will also examine the contributions of the region’s airports to the regional economy, and the impact of airport activities on surrounding communities.

You can find more analysis and data on aviation activity at Sea-Tac in our latest Puget Sound Trend.