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Airport Parking Garage

Before You Fly, You Need a Place to Park  | Parking North and South | Largest Garage West of the Mississippi | 13,000 Spaces Under One Big Top | More Space to Come |

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Before You Fly, You Need a Place to Park

The post-war period not only marked the real birth of commercial aviation, but also a new era of travel by car. Freeways were built, motels sprung up and Americans flocked to the new and sprawling suburbs and began the commute to work by car. Air travelers needed a place to park.

At first parking was largely an informal matter. Pilots often could park their cars right on the airfield. Parkers found open areas around the newly minted terminal. A select few parked in a small underground area where they could have their vehicles washed and lubricated while they traveled.

Parking North and South

In 1955, an airport parking lot opened southeast of the terminal. It had space for just 527 cars – not many for an airport that was serving more than one million passengers a year. Just four years later, a 500-space lot opened northeast of the terminal.

Just four years later, a 500-space lot opened northeast of the terminal. Sea-Tac, 1961.By 1969, the airport had 2,137 airport parking spaces of which 1,946 were for the public, 927 for the employees of airport tenants, 50 for rental cars and 14 for Port staff.

By 1969, the airport had 2,137 airport parking spaces of which 1,946 were for the public, 927 for the employees of airport tenants, 50 for rental cars and 14 for Port staff.

Sea-Tac, 1970.

Largest Garage West of the Mississippitop of page

1970 was the year the Airport Freeway Road was linked to Interstate 5; that meant it was faster and more convenient to drive your car to Sea-Tac. Just in time for the increasing road traffic, Sea-Tac unwrapped the first four floors of a multi-level garage with parking spaces for 850 cars. Two years later that garage, now an eight-story building, was expanded to provide parking for 4,800, making it the largest garage west of the Mississippi.

Sea-Tac, 1971 Sea-Tac, 1981.

13,000 Spaces Under One Big Toptop of page

The expansion continued until 2000 when, just in time for the holiday rush, the last of 3,000 new parking spaces were added bringing the capacity to 13,000 and earning the Sea-Tac structure the title of the largest parking garage under one roof in North America. (Parking at Sea-Tac)

Sea-Tac parking garage, 1996.

More Space to Come

Soon airline travelers will have even more parking space right at the terminal. The first two floors of the current garage will revert to public parking space when the rental car companies move to their new home in 2012

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