Beyond the Airport Terminal: People Mover Technologies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

by Geraldine Heckendorn Poor, Seattle-Tacoma Int Airport, Seattle, United States,
R. Burr Stewart, Seattle-Tacoma Int Airport, Seattle, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Automated People Movers IV


Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has been on the forefront of using people mover technology since the early 1970s and the installation of the Westinghouse Satellite Transit System (STS) (an automated guided vehicle). The STS is integral in supporting this airport's efficient centralized terminal complex. The question today is `How could such a system support further integration of the airport with the City beyond its auto-oriented landside access area?' Historically, the interactions between private property and airport property have been minimal. The recent design development of automated people-mover systems with single-party vehicles (three people per vehicle) has presented urban planners and developers with a new concept for meeting transportation needs. Whether and how such systems will successfully be integrated into a real live community remains to be seen. This paper distinguishes Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) from the fixed guideway people mover already in use at the airport, discusses how the PRT concept study was incorporated into studies of the airport transportation system, and suggests some of the complications and tradeoffs involved in introducing PRT technology into a real urban environment.

Subject Headings: Airport terminals | Automated transit systems | Vehicles | People movers | Rapid transit systems | Airports and airfields | System analysis | Satellites | Washington | United States | Seattle | Tacoma

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