Port of Seattle Connections, Aug. 4, 2017

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Welcome to Connections newsletter, a community resource covering opportunities and activities at the Port of Seattle.

Port of Seattle Commission actions

Aug. 8 meeting


Sea-Tac Airport's Central Terminal is a place to connect.

Port of Seattle Commissioners are scheduled to consider authorizations of a Wi-fi upgrade to modernize and increase service at Sea-Tac Airport, and Central Terminal improvements including the music performance area, the purchase of new furniture and new mobile device charging.

In addition, the Commissioners are expected to consider authorizing a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Seattle for the Safe and Swift Corridor Program to improve transportation flow and safety along key freight transportation corridors. Also on the agenda is authorization to execute a ground lease with TC Northwest Development to develop an aviation-related, light-industrial facility in SeaTac, near the Des Moines Creek Business Park.     

In response to a recent request by Commissioners, representatives from Seattle and King County and its regional partner All Home are scheduled to provide a briefing on the regional strategy to address homelessness in Seattle and the region.

The full agenda

July 25 meeting

Commissioners authorized the executive director to execute an agreement for new energy conservation measures at Sea-Tac Airport, a contract for airport service tunnel renewal/replacement, and design for automated airport screening lane equipment. 

They also heard briefings on building economic opportunity in underserved communities, and the next phases of tree removal and replacement through Sea-Tac's Flight Corridor Safety Program.

Watch the video

Port leadership update

Search for executive director moves forward

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Last week, the Port of Seattle Commission posted a job description and announced results of an extensive outreach effort to gather public input on key qualities and attributes for the next Port executive director. 

The outreach included a web survey that received more than 500 responses; five employee forums attended by more than 200 employees; and interviews with over 100 external community leaders and stakeholders.

The final decision is expected to be made by members of this Commission, with input from the incoming Commissioners, by late fall. Interested candidates can download the job specifications brochure or contact the executive search firm Herd Freed Hartz.

Announcement details

Port to seek new leader for Maritime Division


Maritime facilities are integral to the Seattle waterfront.

The Port of Seattle is set to begin recruiting soon for a new Maritime Division managing director. This is a position currently held by Lindsay Pulsifer, who recently announced her upcoming retirement.

The person who fills this post will direct the strategic and daily operations of the Port’s cruise operations; commercial and industrial fishing and work vessel moorage operations; a grain terminal; marine maintenance, recreational boating and a stormwater utility. 

Details are expected to be released by early next week. To reach Human Resources call (206) 787-5827. More information will be in the Aug. 11 issue of Connections.

In the community

Port facilities roll out red carpet for visiting military vessels

fleet week

Visitors greet the fleet at Pier 66.

The Port of Seattle is proud to host the Seafair Fleet Week through this Sunday, Aug. 6.

Tours of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and Canadian military ships will continue this weekend at the Port’s Pier 66, Pier 69 and Pier 91. Click here for Fleet Week details.

The ships arrived on the Seattle waterfront via the Parade of Ships earlier this week.

Seafair website

Stakeholders continue dialog about shared interests

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Carbon reduction efforts at Sea-Tac Airport include one that connects pre-cooled (or heated) air to parked aircraft so they can shut off their engines and reduce emissions.

At the most recent Highline Forum meeting, Port of Seattle staff members Leslie Stanton (Environmental) and Stan Shepherd (Noise Programs) provided updates on aircraft flying altitudes and air quality programs at Sea-Tac Airport.

Other topics covered at the July meeting included a report by Jeff Robinson on economic activities within the City of SeaTac; and an update on the SR 509 extension project by Omar Jepperson, Washington State Department of Transportation, and Mike Rigsby, Washington State Patrol.

The Forum is a venue for sharing information about Sea-Tac Airport and other topics of interest to airport communities. Members represent Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Highline Public Schools, Highline College, Normandy Park, SeaTac and the Port.

Port Commissioner John Creighton serves as co-chair this year along with Tukwila Councilmember Kathy Hougardy. 

Join us for summer’s final Port Unplugged session


There is still space for community members to sign up for the Aug. 17 Port Unplugged adult education session from 5 to 7 p.m.  

With Washington the most trade-dependent state in the nation, the theme will be Seattle's Trade Gateway: the story of Seattle's relationships with countries around the globe. 

Similar to the previous two sessions, this one promises an evening of learning about the Port of Seattle while enjoying scenery, refreshments and live music by Birch Pereira. It will take place at the Port headquarters, 2711 Alaska Way, and will include time on the Pier 69 deck with views of the Olympic Mountains and Seattle waterfront.

Sign up here

Workforce development

Interns get tips on resumes, interviews & pathways to skilled trades

new intern

Summer interns, including those from the Port of Seattle, get practical tips at Youth Career and Education Day, held at South Seattle College's Georgetown campus.

Port of Seattle interns spent a day this week learning about careers and training pathways in the maritime, aviation, manufacturing and construction industries. They also attended interviewing and resume writing workshops.

This Youth Career and Education Day with employers and training providers was in partnership with Goodwill Industries. It was one of the enrichment activities enhancing the summer internship program. Last week, students had four days of experiential learning about maritime careers at Seattle Maritime Academy.

Next month, some of the interns will spend a weekend aboard the Sound Experience vessel Adventuress, sailing the waters of the Salish Sea, Sept. 15 to 17. The Adventuress is a century-old National Historic Landmark tall ship. 

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

To these guys, 'nose to the grindstone' means a safer airport


K-9 teams at Sea-Tac Airport

Port of Seattle Police and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are working closely this busy summer travel month at Sea-Tac Airport, even when it comes to the four-legged officers who sniff out possible explosive substances.

The TSA uses their K-9s to assist in screening passengers. Handlers are trained to read a dog's behavior when it detects a suspicious scent, and follow a procedure to resolve such an alarm. The K-9s are able to navigate through crowds to find the source.

The Port’s K-9s primarily work in the ticketing areas at Sea-Tac. They also work the Seattle waterfront, supporting cruise ship operations. They are able to follow suspicious odors to pinpoint exact locations, giving them an edge over mechanical detection devices in many circumstances.

Read more 

Peak cherry season turns up the heat on cargo operations


Sea-Tac Airport recently welcomed the “Cherry Express,” a Boeing 777 freighter with a cherry themed livery, operated by China Cargo, a division of China Eastern Airlines.

The plane's arrival highlighted the 2017 Washington cherry season, which is projected to be a record year. As of late July, five Pacific Northwest states had already shipped 18.5 million twenty-pound equivalent boxes of the favorite fruit.

“Our growers and associated businesses depend on exports, and Sea-Tac is a valued partner in our success,” said Keith Hu of Northwest Cherry Growers. “About 30 percent of the Northwest cherry crop was exported in 2016, the vast majority going to Asian countries. Consumers at home and abroad expect fresh and delicious Northwest cherries, and we’re expecting 2017 is going to be another banner year," he said.

Exports to Asia in July, primarily cherries, can be five times the amount of tonnage shipped on the most active airline at Sea-Tac.

Photo album

Port shares what’s on the horizon for airport customers


Plans for Sea-Tac Airport's new International Arrivals Facility, getting under construction this summer, were showcased for a recent stakeholder visit, hosted by Port Commission President Tom Albro and Airport Managing Director Lance Lyttle.

About 60 King County elected officials and other stakeholders recently gathered at Sea-Tac Airport to learn about changes under way that will allow Sea-Tac Airport to better serve increasing passenger numbers and protect the environment.

Among updates shared by Airport Managing Director Lance Lyttle were the launch of construction for the new, expanded International Arrivals Facility, the North Satellite Modernization and other projects, airport contributions to the economy, long-term redevelopment of airport dining and retail options, and the airport master planning effort.

Port Commission President Tom Albro also participated and answered questions, before a tour of the airfield where guests could see projects under way, learn about the airport’s environmental programs and how the airfield operates. 

Visiting piano goes well beyond ebony & ivory


Piano artwork by Keira (Tien) Bui

Sea-Tac Airport’s Central Terminal was a venue for one of this summer’s 11 Pianos in the Parks, painted and decorated by local artists and placed in parks and public spaces all over King County.

The Port of Seattle was among the community partners in this effort to combine art and music to help people discover parks and public spaces. For the past three summers, many of our area’s leading music, arts and parks organizations teamed up to make this happen, with major support from Laird Norton Wealth Management.

Other airport music

Improving our environment

Small matching grants available for environmental projects


The brand new Airport Community Ecology Fund Small Matching Grants Program offers community members the chance to apply for Port funding to improve the local natural environment, especially planting trees and green spaces.

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, youth or athletic associations, chambers of commerce, and community groups located in or providing services in SeaTac, Burien, and Des Moines.

An information drop-in session and networking opportunity is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 7, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the Des Moines Police Department, 21900 11th Ave. S.  Visit the program website for more information and to download the application form.

Applications submitted by Friday, Sept. 1 will be considered for grant awards this fall. Late submissions will not be considered eligible for review.

Economic development news

Steps taken to improve Terminal 18 accessibility 

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Terminal 18

Passing Seattle motorists may have noticed the backed-up truck traffic enroute to Terminal 18 this spring and early summer, and wondered what caused it.

Zack Thomas, who directs the Operations Service Center for The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), recently explained the scenario to members of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition.

Thomas said the truck traffic that lined up on city streets was the result of global shifts in ocean carrier alliances. In Seattle’s harbor, the shifts resulted in a 70 percent increase in containers at Terminal 18 on Harbor Island, in the NWSA's North Harbor.

The NWSA worked with terminal operator SSA Marine, the Seattle Department of Transportation and the Port of Seattle Police Department to manage truck traffic, Thomas said. Among several improvements were longer hours and more space for operations, better management of truck lines and check-in times and additional container rail service.

NWSA is a marine cargo operating partnership of the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma.  

final z

Zack Thomas, NWSA

In the media

Port launches executive director search

The SeaTac Blog reported on the process of finding a new leader for the Port of Seattle.

Cherries a perennial favorite fruit overseas

News media that covered this summer’s cherry shipments to Asia from Sea-Tac Airport included this story by KOMONEWS.

Prospect of aviation biofuel use examined 

Crosscut explores how to make biofuels cost effective enough to legitimately compete economically with petroleum-based jet fuels.

New technology designed to reduce flight delays

A number of media outlets reported on a new Federal Aviation Administration text system for communicating with aircraft, which is already being used at Sea-Tac. They included KOMONEWSKING5 and KIRO7.

Feedback informs Flight Corridor Safety Program

Westside Seattle published a story on how the Port of Seattle updated the removal and replanting plans for areas around Sea-Tac Airport.

Law enforcement K-9 teams tell their tale

There were several stories about Transportation Security Administration and Port of Seattle Police K-9s keeping Sea-Tac Airport safe. Examples included KING5, The Travel Pro and a Travel Pro video and Tukwila Reporter.

Communities to benefit from Airport Ecology Fund

Both Westside Seattle and The SeaTac Blog ran stories about the Port’s new small matching grant program for Sea-Tac Airport communities.

Automation could reduce waiting at checkpoints

KIRO7 and KOMONEWS reported on an automated screening system that is expected to speed wait times at Sea-Tac Airport.

Commissioner shares thoughts on public service, work & family


Parenting resource Parent Map featured a recent Q & A conversation with Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire about work, family and the future

Accompanying the story was a photo, left, of Commissioner Gregorie with Alexa, one of her two children.

One of her messages: "My hope is that by partnering with our communities and expanding opportunities, we can meaningfully address the widening income inequality gap and achieve our goal of being the greenest, most energy-efficient port in North America." 

In case you missed in on social media

Short behind-the-scenes interviews about recent happenings at Sea-Tac Airport were popular on Twitter and Facebook. And a video of Sea-Tac Airport’s recent emergency drill is getting views on YouTube.

A final note

News about Northwest Seaport Alliance & Port of Tacoma

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) is a marine cargo operating partnership of the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma. To receive the NWSA newsletter, click here. To receive the Port of Tacoma newsletter, click here.


Photos provided by Don Wilson, NWSA and Rosa Johnson

Watch for the next issue of Connections on Aug. 11.