Featured image: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines Invests in New World-class Training Facility

DALLAS — Alaska Airlines (AS) makes a major investment in a "cutting-edge" training facility to support various personnel, including flight attendants, pilots, and more.

The acquisition of the Longacres facility in Renton, Washington, previously owned by Unico Properties and slated to open in 2025, marks a pivotal moment for the airline and its workforce.

This new training center promises to elevate the training experience for AS employees, consolidating operations into one comprehensive location. Constance von Muehlen, the airline's chief operating officer, expresses excitement about uniting the operations team for the first time in company history, emphasizing the facility's design tailored to foster safety, performance, and care.

Already equipped with nine full-motion flight simulators and plans for expansion, the facility will feature additional resources such as a mock aircraft for inflight simulations, classrooms, an auditorium, a production studio, and ample office space. Situated within the Longacres campus, formerly part of Boeing, the property offers a sprawling 173-acre space envisioned as a dynamic mixed-use environment with recreational amenities and convenient transit access.

The airline secures the 19-acre property for US$85.75 million and commits an additional US$100 million for renovations, underscoring its dedication to enhancing employee training and development. The move aligns with broader developments in the Renton area, contributing to the region's vitality and growth.

While pilots already train on the campus using the existing simulators, other employee groups will begin moving into the facility following renovations towards the end of 2025.

Photo: Alaska Airlines

Comments from Unico, Alaska Airlines, Wing Point Partners

“This major commitment by Alaska alongside the significant investment made by the Sounders in opening its new training facility earlier this year, has created significant momentum for the mixed-use campus. Given these events, Renton is a bright spot in the region and we’re excited to build upon these announcements to bring other beloved Northwest brands to our exciting new community,” said Liz Thorson, Unico Properties Director, Market Leader.

“We’re pleased to have secured in excess of 670,000 square feet of occupancy since acquiring the property in a difficult office environment throughout the country.” “We’re thrilled to invest in our Puget Sound home,” said Shane Jones, senior vice president of fleet, revenue products and real estate at Alaska Airlines.

The airline executive added, “The growth opportunity this purchase provides us cannot be overstated, and it really feels like a perfect match. Having access to a facility that was purpose built for aviation training that we then get to customize was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. As Longacres continues to be built out, our employees will have access to amenities that will truly make this a world class training experience.”

“It is great to see this special 173-acre campus come to life with the opening of the Sounders FC practice facility and now the thousands of Alaska Airlines employees that will frequent the site,” said Ned Carner, Founder Wing Point Partners who worked with Unico to facilitate the sale. “We are one step closer to achieving our goal of an active campus that seamlessly brings the community to work, live, and recreate together.”

Pre-order the 2025 Airways Calendar