Seatac Airport

Elaine Thompson / AP File Photo

Port of Seattle officials say they’re taking greater steps to address human trafficking. That includes a public awareness campaign at Sea-Tac Airport.

Alaska Airlines planes, near the gates at Sea-Tac Airport, on Dec. 14. Airport officials have advice for smooth travel during the holiday rush.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Believe it or not, the holidays are not the busiest time of year at Sea-Tac Airport. That distinction belongs to the summer. (Who wouldn’t want to be here in the summer?)

But holiday travel volumes are nothing to sneeze at if you’re an airport manager. Between Dec. 15 and Jan. 2, Sea-Tac Airport officials expect 2.5 million passengers to move through the facility.

So what’s a busy traveler to do?

Wonderlane / flickr via Compfight

Community leaders in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood have a two-year environmental justice grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to address health issues from air and noise pollution. They’re holding a meeting Saturday at the Centilia Cultural Center on the campus of  El Centro de la Raza.  

Erin Hennessey / KNKX

A small storm of drizzle spoiled Seattle’s chances to break what KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass viewed as a significant record.

Thursday morning’s precipitation was just enough to be considered a "trace" of rain and cancel the chance for a rain-free July. But there is still a chance to continue a dry-day streak.

Allie Ferguson / KNKX

Cheers erupted from a crowd of protesters at Sea-Tac Airport on Saturday after hearing that a federal judge in New York put a hold on part of President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting immigration.

On Friday, Trump signed an executive order banning legal U.S. residents and visa holders from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S. for 90 days. It also puts an indefinite hold on a program resettling Syrian refugees.

The judge prohibited the U.S. government from deporting travelers with valid visas covered by the Trump order.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

Sea-Tac International is the fastest growing airport in North America -- and the first in the U. S. to receive certification as “Salmon Safe.” The designation recognizes work to improve water quality that goes above and beyond federal requirements.

Just west of Sea-Tac’s third runway, down the hill from a steep retaining wall, environmental specialist Josh Feigen stands in the underbrush at the edge of Miller Creek. In 2012, he says the port replaced a cement-box culvert here with woody debris, boulders and gravel to restore more than a mile of shady habitat for salmon.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

It’s a stretch goal, but it’s the right thing to do. That was the sentiment at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as Alaska Airlines and Boeing joined the Port of Seattle in announcing an ambitious plan for the use of aviation biofuels. 

Alaska Air and Boeing have been working with the port on more sustainable jet fuels for years. In 2011 they demonstrated capability to make aviation biofuels from used cooking oil, with enough to power 75 test flights.  

Don Wilson / Port of Seattle

With a growing economy comes a crowded airport.  Port of Seattle officials say the annual number of passengers traveling through Sea-Tac will double to 66 million in the next 20 years. The question is how to accommodate them.

A plan, called the Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP), is being circulated by the Port of Seattle and will be presented at a series of public meetings, the first one on Thursday, March 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Seattle Central Library.

Associated Press

A federal judge has granted the request from Alaska Airlines, the Washington Restaurant Association and a small business owner at Sea-Tac International Airport to send their case back to a Washington state court. The businesses want SeaTac's Proposition 1, which would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for some workers, to be ruled illegal. 

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Workers at Sea-Tac International Airport are still not sure whether they’ll get a wage bump to $15 per hour come January. With SeaTac’s Proposition 1 still passing by a narrow margin, Alaska Airlines and other business interests are challenging the measure in court.

Alaska Airlines, the Washington Restaurant Association and a small business owner at the airport have been trying since July to block the minimum wage initiative in court. They’ve tried to keep the measure off the ballot and failed.

Now the issue is which court should hear the case. The business interests would like a King County judge to rule the initiative unconstitutional. But sponsors of the initiative, who are backed by unions like the Service Employees International Union, said the case should be heard in federal court.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

The voter initiative to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour for airport and hotel workers in SeaTac is still undecided.

The initiative was passing by just 43 votes on Tuesday afternoon. And activists say they don’t expect a clear outcome before Thanksgiving due to hundreds of contested ballots in a relatively small electorate. 

Vacationers wanting to fly from the Seattle area to destinations such as Hawaii and Phoenix may soon have another option. The Federal Aviation Administration has approved commercial flights out of Paine Field, near Everett. It’s a proposal that’s been in the works for years.

Despite concern from some neighbors about noise and other environmental factors, the FAA issued a “finding of no significant impacts” for the proposal to allow commercial flights from Snohomish County airport.

The Port of Seattle plans an elaborate emergency drill for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today but officials stress it is only a drill and will not affect any regular air travel.

Elaine Thompson / AP File Photo

With Memorial Day over, the summer travel season has begun. If recent data from Sea-Tac airport is any indication, it will be a busy one.