Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) has announced the launch of SEA Access, the new name for its accessibility programme. This interdepartmental collaboration supports the accessibility needs of customers and workers at SEA through accessible facilities, customer service resources, and community engagement. Its goal is to create a safe, welcoming, and easy travel experience for all. This builds on work that began in 2019, when SEA became the first airport in the U.S. to launch the sunflower lanyard programme for travellers with invisible disabilities.
“SEA Airport is a leader in accessibility options for travellers, and the launch of SEA Access reaffirms our commitment to operating the most accessible airport in the United States,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed. “The commitment is visible in our upcoming capital projects to bring more accessible options from curb to gate. This includes more sensory rooms, nursing rooms and suites, service animal relief areas, and more. Finally, SEA is committed to a ‘nothing about us without us’ approach through the SEA Accessibility Advisory Committee of disability community and airport stakeholders to consistently elevate our accessibility options.”
The current ‘Upgrade SEA’ – an investment of around $1 billion per year for the next five years – will update and upgrade facilities, including accessibility support. This includes:
- Zero-grade curb and ramps – in 2023, the Arrivals Drive curb was redesigned to be zero-grade so travellers could have step-free access from the curb to their vehicles. On the Departures Drive, wheelchair loading zones were created every 100 feet to provide more accessible spots to access the curbside. Also, new ramps are being constructed between baggage claim and the Arrivals Drive to provide a shallower slope with landings at the top and bottom.
- Restroom upgrades – SEA opened its first all-gender restroom on the D Concourse in 2023 to allow people of all identities, abilities, and circumstances to have access to a common restroom. This also provides additional options for people with disabilities to stay with their care-giver or family member, regardless of gender identity. Upcoming restroom upgrades will also add additional family restrooms and restroom facilities with both baby and adult changing tables.
- Accessible facilities for all – SEA currently offers a sensory room, service animal relief areas, and nursing rooms and suites. Upcoming capital projects, including the C Concourse Expansion, will add additional amenities throughout the airport.