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Old November 22nd, 2019, 06:42 PM   #6721
Pugetopolis
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https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/...tacs-2-3b.html

Quote:
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's $2.3 billion plan to build a standalone North Terminal to manage passenger growth has "critical shortcomings," Alaska Airlines says.

In letters to Sea-Tac Airport leaders and interviews with the Business Journal, Alaska says the facility's plan for a 19-gate terminal would frustrate travelers and transform Sea-Tac into one of the most congested hubs in the United States.

...

Alaska has developed concepts for a two-phase terminal expansion and shared them with airport officials.

Under phase one, the airport would build the first 10 gates faster, completing them by 2025. Alaska's plan also calls for expanding the D concourse.
Alaska's proposed plan is pictured below (after both phases of expansion).

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Old November 22nd, 2019, 07:23 PM   #6722
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Alaska was also unhappy with the IAF facility because it was going to help Delta. So if you have the two largest tenants of the airport wanting different things congestion may end up being the final result.
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Old November 22nd, 2019, 09:00 PM   #6723
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Looks like they haven't given up on the Sound Transit infill station at the North Terminal. To me it's a total no-brainer to add a station there. Maybe ST was saying it was impossible so they could strong-arm the POS to pay for it.
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Old November 22nd, 2019, 09:38 PM   #6724
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POS should pay for it. This airport is such a mess. Pick something and build it though. Damn.

Also in that image, is the infill station connected to the sterile corridor from the New terminal to the new gates? Or would that be some sort of walkway under the airport access roads to the check-in counters?
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Old November 23rd, 2019, 01:23 AM   #6725
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Still waiting for Port of Seattle to start the public comment phase of the North Terminal...would be nice if they stuck to their schedule. Should have been open in early fall.
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Old November 26th, 2019, 02:09 AM   #6726
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Study: Sea-Tac will be unable to meet passenger demand by 2050

https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/...hoo&yptr=yahoo

Quote:
The Puget Sound region may need several airports to cope with its surging growth, says the man leading a study of the sector.

Josh Brown, the executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council and former Kitsap County executive, is leading an effort to document exactly how crowded the skies are and how much airplane congestion the area faces in the next 30 years. His group is also examining what steps regional planners and airport managers can take now to help manage the growth.
Quote:
What are key takeaways? Even with all the planned investments at Sea-Tac Airport, it will not be able to meet the region's demand for passenger air service by 2050. Drive times to get to Sea-Tac will get substantially worse for most of our residents. By 2050, we estimate that the share of the region's population within 60 minute drive to Sea-Tac and Paine Field drops from 83 percent to 70 percent.
As an example: Assuming Sea-Tac has 50 Million passengers in 2019, and assuming a very conservative 2.5% increase in traffic annually, SEA would need to accommodate 108 Million passengers in 2050. That is more passengers than ATL Hartsfieled-Jackson handles now. If you assume 4% traffic increases, we’re talking 140-150 Million passengers.

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Old November 26th, 2019, 02:17 AM   #6727
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My mind boggles at SEA being that busy. Its appears bursting at the seams now. POS better get building.
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Old November 26th, 2019, 03:17 AM   #6728
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronrex View Post
My mind boggles at SEA being that busy. Its appears bursting at the seams now. POS better get building.
It's not all that far off. Sea-Tac's passenger count in 1980 was just over 9mil. Imagine telling someone in 1980 that Sea-Tac would see 450% more passengers in 2020 than it does then (That would be like 2020 Sea-tac seeing 220mil passengers).

That would put a lot of stress on just about every major airport in the US. It's scary to imagine Sea-Tac Handling 100mil. Now imagine JFK handling 150mil-200mil passengers. Every major city would need a second major airport to handle all the traffic.

Kinda why I feel like something would have to give long before we reach that point e.g. Air travel in general will stop growing, and/or that'll finally be the point that HSR becomes financially viable to be a private enterprise in the US and take some of the load off, or some technology we can't even imagine will have been developed by then.
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Old November 26th, 2019, 07:17 AM   #6729
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We'll do something. But let's not pretend that doing nothing isn't common.

Doing nothing would cause the airlines to have fewer flights and fewer passengers than they would otherwise. We'd lose some tourism and business travel. Maybe we'd plateau at 55-60 mil and look like other big cities that have way fewer passengers per capita because they lack connecting traffic, prices are high, etc.
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Old November 26th, 2019, 07:41 AM   #6730
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I think there's a solid argument to be made for a less radical expansion on the grounds that some of the regional flights (Vancouver, Portland, Corvallis, Eugene, Yakima, etc.) could be accommodated by other means. This (admittedly) very early discussion about high speed rail between Vancouver and Portland is probably on a similar timeline to adding another airport in the next 30 years so perhaps high speed rail in lieu of a new airport, coupled with SeaTac and Paine expansions could meet most needs.
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Old November 26th, 2019, 07:46 AM   #6731
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Rail could be an important factor even if it's just incremental improvements to the existing service. It does well at current speeds, so it seems likely that another 20 mph and every-hour frequency would do well too. That would take significant new trackage and other improvements, but maybe that's more likely than an all-new HSR concept.
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Old November 26th, 2019, 08:22 PM   #6732
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BSNF! Unfortunately, as long as the rails are owned and managed by freight operators, efficient, faster, more frequent trips are not possible. Investing $45bn in dedicated high-speed passenger rail is a better investment than spending incremental billions across YVR, SEA, PDX to accommodate local flights increasing year-on-year, spending on BSNF tracks that will always put passengers second, and spending $100bn to widen I-5/BC-99 with one lane each way.
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Last edited by annman; November 26th, 2019 at 08:29 PM.
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Old November 26th, 2019, 09:26 PM   #6733
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It would be complex, but the basic concept has worked repeatedly...publicly fund infrastructure upgrades (grade separations, sidings, etc.) to avoid net tradeoffs by the rights-holders...
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Old November 26th, 2019, 09:46 PM   #6734
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annman View Post
BSNF! Unfortunately, as long as the rails are owned and managed by freight operators, efficient, faster, more frequent trips are not possible. Investing $45bn in dedicated high-speed passenger rail is a better investment than spending incremental billions across YVR, SEA, PDX to accommodate local flights increasing year-on-year, spending on BSNF tracks that will always put passengers second, and spending $100bn to widen I-5/BC-99 with one lane each way.
Not if they have a financial stake in the service. They focus on freight right now because that's what makes them money. If there's money to be made moving people quickly and conveniently, they will make it work. That's kinda what's happening in Florida right now.
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Old November 26th, 2019, 10:12 PM   #6735
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If you're referring to the Brightline in Florida, that's on abandoned freight track so it's not quite the same as a freight operator making the switch to passenger service. But yes, if there's a business case to operate passenger service then it's plausible that someone would try to strike a deal. I think it's more likely that a HSR corridor would need to be built with public money and then the operations could be contracted to a private-party operator. As I understand it, this is generally the practice in Europe.
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Old November 26th, 2019, 10:28 PM   #6736
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These ideas, although they look good on paper, don't make much sense to me. It's like telling Sears, "Just be an online retailer, get into it like Amazon." Companies don't simply do another thing well simply because they're in a superficially similar field.

And honestly, I like the comparison to Europe, or would even like comparisons to Japan etc. If I want to fly to the moon, I'll look to the USA for best-practice; if I'm looking for my trains to 'fly' between cities, I'm looking elsewhere for best-practice.
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Old November 27th, 2019, 01:12 AM   #6737
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Major railways in the US had pax service all over the country, so pax service wouldn’t be anything new to freight operators, just as pax airlines also transport freight and mail to this day. Seattle was served by Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Milwaukee Road at both Union Station and King Street Station. Amtrak as a pax RR is the equivalent of having the US Postal Service operate a pax airline. Amtrak is never going to improve service overall, and the last reinventing of service it did was its consolidation of the unprofitable pax railways on day one. The future is private pax railways reinventing pax service for the better and making investments and returns for shareholders. Clunky Cascades (“All aboard the USPS with service to Portland!”) is never going to absorb any significant increase in pax volume off airports in the NW.
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Old November 27th, 2019, 02:10 AM   #6738
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Just ask the Brits what they think of their privatized rail system. The profit motive destroyed the British rail system. A perfect example of neo-liberalism at work.
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Old November 27th, 2019, 02:29 AM   #6739
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Quote:
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Just ask the Brits what they think of their privatized rail system. The profit motive destroyed the British rail system. A perfect example of neo-liberalism at work.
I almost made this exact observation but decided it wasn't worth getting into it...but since you brought it up:

I've traveled on the British rail system from the time I was a young child, close to 50 years. (Mom's British and we traveled there often to visit family).

The British rail system was never perfect but it had regular trains running throughout the country on reliable schedules. Seats were reasonably comfortable and clean (being generous here). Fares were also reasonable. What has privatization brought: Basically the exact same service but with astronomical fares. There has been little to no public benefit but suddenly private firms make a bunch of money. Reliability has gone down because the firms don't want to actually invest in their product, just milk the profits. Those firms that don't manage to make money...get bailed out by the government in order to keep the trains running.

Like US banks in 2008/9....private profit, public risk. Only those that benefit would choose that sort of system...and the public does not benefit.
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Old November 27th, 2019, 09:53 PM   #6740
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On the flip side. Privatization in the UK was private companies taking over a kindof bloated money losing system, so of course the first task is streamlining. People have grown to rely on it, so they weren't going to lose too many customers by cutting corners.

Privatization in the case of the US would be companies adding new service to serve a new customer. They would need to draw that new customer in from other forms transport, so cutting the same corners doesn't help their bottom line.
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