Seattle to pay for new runway without airline fees

11/13/2008 |

A $1 billion third runway is set to open Nov. 20 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, just as demand for air travel is plummeting and airlines face massive losses. Litigation and environmental concerns swelled the price tag nearly 500% over initial estimates, drawing protests from airlines, which typically pay for such projects through higher landing fees. "It's too much money," says a VP at Alaska Airlines, Sea-Tac's largest tenant. Instead of tapping cash-strapped airlines, the airport authority says it will service $1.2 billion in bond debt with a $4.50 per ticket fee paid directly by passengers.

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