The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has been cheerily nicknamed Sea-Tac by the locals. The airport adopted the moniker and automated announcement now welcome guests referring to the building only by its nickname. More than 32 million people hear the announcement each year, as the airport serves Seattle, Tacoma and the greater Washington State region.
The airport is marked by its relatively recent (for US airports) construction in the 1940's and the presences of a vibrant techie-innovation culture propelling it along to all the latest developments. Although the airport didn't start offering international flights until the 1960's, the presence of a large Boeing facility in the area means the runways are equipped to handle all the latest sizes of jumbo-jets for multi-national travel.
The airport currently serves a variety of domestic and international destinations. Canadian and Pan-Asian flights figure heavily on the rotation. The airport is working to get more non-stop flights between Seattle and Chinese destinations like Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. There are low cost carriers at the airport, although the rising costs of flying in and out of Sea-Tac have caused friction in recent years. Southwest has repeatedly expressed interest in moving, but as of yet has not actually done so as a result of costs.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is also in the middle of adding a link rail connection. Currently, the airport is served by bus line and car service only. Several main highways lead to the airport, and the loading and unloading areas see heavy traffic. Coupled with the overall high traffic in the Seattle area, this can lead to considerable congestion in peak travel times. Starting in 2009, there will be an Airport Station stop on the Sound Transit Central Link light rail line. The line will service downtown Seattle and offer connections to the surrounding area.