Seattle is projecting nearly 3.5 million more airport travelers for 2016, a total which may push Seattle-Tacoma International Airport into the top 10 list of U.S. airports by total passengers.

“Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is on the final approach to become a top 10 U.S. Airport, which is a testament to our region’s economic strength and opportunity,” said Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton in a prepared statement. “In 2016, we announced eight new airlines – four passenger and four cargo carriers. The jobs and economic gains that these new airlines bring to our region will only increase as Sea-Tac continues to grow.”

He said that becoming a top 10 U.S. airport opens the door for more airline services and passenger options along with an increased economic benefit to the Puget Sound region. Currently Sea-Tac generates more than 171,000 jobs representing more than $2.8 billion in direct earnings, numbers which are expected to go up with the millions more passengers coming through the airport.

Sea-Tac’s passenger totals have increased from 31.5 million in 2010 to a projected total of more than 45 million in 2016.

For the past two years, Sea-Tac claims to be the fastest growing large hub airport in the U.S. and has been the 13th largest domestic airport based on total passenger traffic.

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