747megatop wrote:klakzky123 wrote:747megatop wrote:Another solution could be remote checkin/passenger processor terminals at downtown Seattle + Downtown Bellevue & connect those with SeaTac, Boeing Field and Paine Field airfields by dedicated high speed train cars on Seatle Light rail's infrastructure. This way you have a bunch of checkin/passenger processing facilities geographically spread out in the region connected to a bunch of airfields. Then in realtime; depending on various factors - weather, air traffic congestion, type of plane etc etc planes could land on any of the runways in any of the air fields [it is a demand supply matching type of scenario]. Details would obviously have to worked out for example, what about international flights; where would customs happen and would passengers have to recheck luggage to reclaim at their destination remote terminal.
If you really think of it; there is no dearth of runways for the seattle region in general - SEA (3 runways), BFI (1 runway) & PAE (3 runways).
A concept of remote checkin terminal is not unique and already exists in operation at Hong Kong - https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_US/ ... rture.html. The concept just needs to be tweaked and scaled out to match supply & demand in a multiple airfield situation like most US cities. This combined with end around taxiways (ATL style) for Seatac can significantly increase passenger capacity in the SeaTac region.
Are check in facilities really a roadblock anymore? That was a problem in the day of paper tickets when everyone had to physically check in at a desk. The major roadblocks today tend to be around security, gate space, runway capacity, etc.. But check in has to be low on the list nowadays.
Well, if dedicated high speed train cars can whisk passengers between remote processors and gates the concept could still be viable. It is similar to an ATL style setup with people mover between satellites and processor..the only thing here is that the satellites+processors are spread out over multiple air fields and locations ALL being interconnected by dedicated high speed (non stop) train cars running on Seattle Light Rail infrastructure. You could have security check clearance at these remote checkins with baggage drop off & baggage reclaim and other services at these remote processors. Basically a loosely coupled architecture better suited to managing the 7 runways accross greater Seattle region in a cohesive fashion matching supply - demand in real time.
If you're suggesting that people clear security at a remote location, that turns into a whole other ball of wax, because you'd have to have a separate station connecting into Sound Transit's Link Light Rail system, which will cost several hundred million, on each side. That being said Link light rail is already planned to be at headway capacity on the line that serves downtown Seattle to SeaTac.
The other option is to run trains on the freight lines (like Amtrak and Sound Transit's Sounder), in that case you probably could reuse King Street Station, but place extra security around it. You'd still have to build a spur and another station to the airport, plus pay BNSF for the use of their track. Its not really a good use of funds.
ER757 wrote:BFI is closer, but WN tried that and was rebuffed quickly by the NIMBYs.
747megatop wrote:Of course, Boeing will have to say yes I guess?
Nope, King County owns Boeing field. (The King County Sheriff's department provides ARFF services. Yes, the sheriff, the county doesn't have a county wide fire department.)
AFAIK, the county rebuffed WN, not NIMBY's. They investigated if the airfield and surrounding infrastructure would be able to serve commercial service (not just WN, but whomever wanted to fly from there.) and they determined that the infrastructure wasn't there, nor was there enough space to do so.
TBH, I'm not sure how serious WN's suggestion for using BFI was, as BFI is pretty constrained from a growth perspective. (It makes MDW look like a cake walk!) I've driven around the area a bit but I just looked around at the map to reinforce my knowledge of the area around BFI. The thing I'm not really sure about adding commercial service to BFI is where does the terminal go? BFI is pretty closely hemmed in by Airport Way to the East, and Marginal Way to the West, Ellis Ave to the North, and Norfolk (or is it Boeing Access Road?) to the South. Then you'd also have to account for parking and good access to the highways. Presuming the terminal goes on the east side of the airport, connecting to I5 is doable, however the Corson Ave exit goes into the Georgetown neighborhood so it won't work, the Boeing Access Road exit might work, but the terminal would need rebuilt. Connecting to 509/99 is another ball of wax. Putting the terminal on the west side of the airport is a different conundrum. You also can't move Airport way to the east because there are rail lines and I5 on that side. You can't move Marginal Way because Boeing and the Museum of Flight likely aren't going to move their buildings. You might be able to convince Boeing to sell some of their buildings/leases, but I'm not sure how much that'd help.