Kansas City Desperately Needs a New Terminal But That Hinges On a Vote Next Week

There is no shortage of bad airport projects in the US. You know those airports, the ones that throw money into overbuilding palaces. (Exhibit A: the home of the scary bunny) But there are also, of course, good airport projects out there like the new Kansas City terminal effort. This seems like a no-brainer from every angle, but it may never happen. Next Tuesday, the people of Kansas City (and only Kansas City, Missouri) will vote on whether to move forward or not. Polls earlier this month showed an extremely narrow margin of victory for the project, but as we all know, a lot can change in a month. If this goes down to defeat next week, the people of Kansas City will have made a big mistake.

On November 11, 1972, Kansas City officially opened its gleaming new paradise. The trio of horseshoe-shaped terminals looked like a shamrock, and was designed with the traveler in mind. Locals would be able to drive right up to the curb near their gate and take just a few steps before boarding their flights. It was a vision for convenience… for almost a month.

In December of that year, the US decided to require airport security, and Kansas City’s airport instantly became obsolete. The airport was forced to shoehorn in security equipment and carve up the terminal the best it could in order to comply. This might sound like Dallas/Ft Worth to you, but it’s way worse. DFW was designed with wider terminals that were capable of handling the security systems that were needed. Kansas City has just never had enough space.

The airport obviously had to deal with this inefficiency the best it could, and it has done so for an impressively long time. In the early days of security, while space was at a premium, it wasn’t all that hard to go in and out to use the bathroom or get food. Fast forward to the security changes after 9/11, however, and things got ugly.

Post-9/11, people only wanted to go through security once because of the invasive harassment required every time. That meant the airport had to not only pull in more concessions and bathrooms, but it also had to figure out a way to better deal with connecting flights. Many airlines have tried to hub in Kansas City and failed. Modifications were made over time to make a hub operationally-viable. Security was reconfigured to allow more gates behind a single checkpoint (but still not that many). Most recently, Southwest has turned Kansas City into a prototypical mid-size city with many connecting opportunities. To fix the security problem for Southwest, a gerbil tube was stapled on to the side of the terminal to let people walk between Southwest’s secure areas for a connection. The amount of “cobbling together” required to keep this airport functioning is remarkable.

What you have today is a series of cramped boarding areas with far too many (albeit fewer than before) security checkpoints separating them from each other. Over the last few years, airlines have increasingly been upgauging aircraft (even Southwest has switched its growth focus from the formerly-137, now-143-seat 737-700s to 175-seat 737-800/MAX 8 aircraft.) At the same time, load factors have climbed. That means more people are on each flight, and the airport simply isn’t built to handle it. The place is squeezed.

As airlines consolidated, so did Kansas City, and that created opportunity to fix these problems once and for all. The airport shuttered Terminal A in 2014, leaving 34 gates between Terminals B and C. Today, 30 gates are in use with Alaska, Southwest, and Delta at Terminal B and the rest in Terminal C.

As if the constraints aren’t enough of a reason to want to build something new, the airport is starting to crumble. Several programs were put into place to extend the life of the structure, but something major had to be done.

The ultimate plan put forward by the airport was to take advantage of the closure of Terminal A and build a new, single, 35-gate terminal (expandable to 42 and beyond) on that site. Once that was built, Terminals B and C would be closed for good. This project with a single checkpoint and concourses capable of handling a higher volume of travelers would cost about $1 billion.

A billion dollars might sound like a lot, and it is. But looking at the situation Kansas City finds itself in, that is the most economical way to solve the airport’s problems. Some have suggested that airport should renovate, but such extensive renovations would be needed at the airport just to keep it running that it would probably cost half that just to retain the status quo. To make any needed improvements to gate areas, checkpoints, baggage handling, etc beyond that? It would easily become more expensive than just starting over.

The project is set to be financed through airport revenues and bonds that’ll be guaranteed by airport revenues. In other words, as always, no taxpayers will be harmed in the filming of this movie.

Kansas City’s cost per enplanement (CPE) is right around $7 today. With much of the debt falling off soon, building this whole terminal is expected to bring the CPE up to only $9. That’s quite reasonable, and the airlines agree. Southwest has been actively stumping for the project. I don’t believe a single airline is against it. That certainly says something.

So, uh, who IS against it? Apparently, nearly half the voters. The airport is run by the city of Kansas City, so it’s up to the city to make the decision. There has been all kinds of ridiculous local political back-and-forth on this, and thanks to a citizen petition, it now goes on the ballot. What’s nuts here, however, is that maybe a quarter of the locals who use the airport actually reside in the city, so the other 75 percent are held hostage by what the city decides. Heck, most of the local users don’t even reside in the same state. (Kansas is just a hop across the Missouri River.)

I remain confused by the opposition. There’s one Facebook group that goes by the misnomer “Friends of KCI.” It seems to be pushing a fantasy renovation plan that would somehow be cheaper than the new-build and would theoretically solve all the airport’s problems. I don’t see how that’s possible. Probably the most coherent argument I’ve seen against the plan is that locals like the convenience of the existing structure. But those people probably haven’t been shoe-horned into those holdrooms for long periods of time. It’s a design that has to go.

The rest of the arguments against really seem mostly centered around the idea that “the government says we should do this and the government is bad.” Welcome to politics in America, 2017 edition. There’s no rational argument that I can see. Instead it just jumps around to things as strange as claims about ancient slave burial grounds or rumors of a lost mythical “Pilot Hub” for Southwest.

The reality here is pretty straightforward. Kansas City needs to spend money to fix this. A new terminal is the most economical option that also happens to improve the experience dramatically. There’s no financial risk to the local taxpayers, and the airlines want it. It’s remarkable to me that this has a chance of losing on Tuesday.

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90 Comments on "Kansas City Desperately Needs a New Terminal But That Hinges On a Vote Next Week"

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ChuckMO
Guest

Well the only problem I see with your last photoshop is that terminal C will be re-purposed into office space so that means B will have to be a ginormous fountain…of BBQ sauce. But yes, something needs to be done at MCI.

Tim Dunn
Member

As much as Americans love their ability to control their own destiny, you have to wonder how much more air service MCI could support if it had the right facilities. It is hard to believe that airlines are intentionally passing up opportunities in a market that is almost entirely local but who knows.

Gary73
Member
The airlines have already spoken…and past up on added air service due to the constraints and shortcomings of the current terminal. AA waved off upgauging flights due to poor gate hold space and security checkpoint congestion. Southwest runs flights with forecasted (actual) connection supplements over STL rather than MCI due to gate and security checkpoint constraints even though operating costs at MCI are lower. for the first time in almost 2 years, MCI showed a year over year decline in pax in September, much due to lower ASMs and actual pax at AA. The 50 and 70 seaters are going… Read more »
Kilroy
Guest

Your second image probably shouldn’t also have the title of “Kansas City Airport Today”.

Also, MCI doesn’t appear to be too far from downtown or too inconvenient, but I’m surprised that some scheduled air charters haven’t tried running to the Charles Wheeler downtown airport, a la Ultimate Air Shuttle using Cincinnati’s sunken Lunken airport instead of CVG.

Jonathan R
Guest
Some visiting Major-League Baseball franchise charters use the Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC). The Kansas City Royals charters routinely depart and arrive at this airport. Wheeler Downtown airport was designed during the propeller-age, but was not ideal for modern scheduled passenger jet airliner operations due in-part to the 3.2° non-precision approach angle required to Runway 1 from the south. Jets that use this airport usually land from the north on runway 19, but depart from the south on runway 1 due to high obstacles across the river in the West Bottoms, as well as the significant elevation of the… Read more »
Kilroy
Guest
Thanks for the information. That’s pretty much what I figured, and it is similar to how Cincinnati’s Lunken airport is used, for corporate planes, general aviation, and charters. From a cursory glance, it appears that smaller, 30-seat scheduled charter service out of MKC would probably be feasible if anyone were to try that model (again, similar to what Ultimate Air does out of KLUK; I forget the federal rules statute that this falls into, but I know that no airport security is required). Whether Kansas City, which appears to control both MCI and MKC, would allow that to happen would… Read more »
Jonathan R
Guest
I don’t know that the city would be against that given that they have spent a fair amount on keeping that airport open for general aviation and ad hoc charter use. There are two Fixed Based Operators located there, and Wheeler enjoys continuous FAA tower and ground controllers on duty, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The city does indeed own and operate both MCI and MKC, and during the 1990s, they also operated a third airport (GVW) on the south side of town near Grandview Missouri, after the former Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base was closed. It had a… Read more »
A
Guest
Playing devils advocate here, the optics aren’t good where airlines spend billions of their own dollars to build terminals in places like LAX and JFK while they aren’t offering to do the same at MCI. I know it’s not an apples to apples comparison but think like someone in flyover country for a moment. Personally I like the more central planning aspect of terminals built with public money and “shared” by airlines than the mess of crap you get at places like JFK, but I can understand the sentiment of “if an airline wants a better terminal they can build… Read more »
Gary73
Member

Financing for the new KCI is through airport revenue, AIP and private bonds, guaranteed by the airlines through a residual rental agreement. They’ve agreed to this already. The city will have an option later to go to public bonds if the terms are more favorable. But the airlines will still guarantee the debt service. Cost overruns? airlines pay. under cost? airlines benefit.

Eric Morris
Guest

It’s remarkable to me how many of these renovation projects are being driven by current “security” requirements. The only post 9/11 fix maybe needed was cockpit doors; of course, that led to unintended consequence of Germanwings and maybe MH370.

The real “fix” is for western countries to stop going abroad in search of monsters to destroy, but then revolving door helpers like Michael Chertoff don’t make millions.

I’m sure contractors don’t mind filling holes they dug already either …

Liz Ardell
Guest
Kansas City resident here and I will be voting YES next week. Most No voters are not understanding the issues surrounding this crumbling airport. Most No voters that I’ve spoken to sing praises for the ease of getting through security and how they don’t have to walk forever to get to their gate after they go through security (roll eyes). Basically, the infrequent travelers love this airport. Personally, I think the airport would have been better if they wouldn’t have moved all the concessions into the boarding areas and left them outside security, then you’d see this initiative pass with… Read more »
Jonathan R
Guest

The airport was built before airline deregulation, when the term ‘fortress hub’ did not exist. Therefore, KCI’s design catered to O/D passengers, not passengers making connections who must spend a fair amount of time in the airport.

You are correct that it is outdated, and that local leisure travelers embrace KCI’s simplicity. The huge hurdle has been convincing the occasional flyer how a different terminal concept would benefit them. Many have tried, with scant (if any) success. Tuesday’s election results will indicate whether enough attitudes have changed.

Outer+Space+Guy
Guest
My first thought when looking at the photos was: 1] make terminal B the checkin/checkpoint/baggage claim area. No gates in this terminal. 2] Move those planes to Terminal A and reopen Terminal A, and remove all the security and baggage from terminals A and C. 3] connect a tram (like Phoenix or Dallas, etc) between the Terminal B and A+C. Everything in (A) and (C) are now inside security, as the checkin and checkpoints and baggage claim and etc are only in (B). Seems like there would plenty of room that way, right? Sounds like a new tram would be… Read more »
Shane
Member

Trams are extremely expensive. You would end up spending more money gutting and creating a new setup with trams and the existing facilities than building new. Gut and renovation is almost always more expensive than brand new, purpose-built in ANY building type (with few exceptions based on political or artificial legislative/legal requirements)

Oliver
Guest

Gerbil tubes. Cheaper than trains and after eating all the BBQ the local folks and us visitors need a way to work off their weight gains.

JB
Member

People movers like IAD! ;)

Shane
Member
I have flows through MCI many, many times as a destination and transfer point. If you talk to any frequent traveler, they will tell you that the parking situation right now is great, but the layout of the check-in desks (sometimes halfway around the horseshoe) and the abysmal concession options make the airport a loser. Concessions are a major factor that you do not mention in your write-up, and part of what will make the project viable. The ability to have more concessions (food and stuff) available to ALL passengers before and after security will bring in a huge stream… Read more »
gobleutwo
Guest

I, too, have flown through MCI many times. Not only the miserable concessions and check-in counter locations, but the inadequate bathroom facilities, lack of space and crammed-in seats, lack of modern amenities like electrical outlets, the cobbled-together and slow security at the far ends of the horseshoe (at least in C). Heaven forbid you experience a significant delay, because it WILL be an uncomfortable wait.

dingbats39
Member

What’s surprising is the DEAFENING SILENCE about KCI problems from city government and local media. TV follows the usual “murder, murder, WEATHER, fire, rape, road rage” formula and the mayor’s already on record saying that “if it doesn’t pass, it’s the next mayor’s problem.” What will it take to move this forward? A realistic proposal from the two adjacent Kansas counties to move the airport there. Yes, I’m talking about a similar move by Illinois to move the St. Louis airport across state lines. Like a bolt of lightning, that will guarantee a new terminal in Missouri. Sad.

Matt
Guest
Jeremy Anderson
Guest
This is an Eye opening video, even mor so if you consider that its 5 years old. https://youtu.be/VsPYlHmlmRc Not only does it show the crowding at the terminals, but it includes the baggage security and how miserable that is. I found this video after I connected through KCi on Southwest. We had a one stop, no plane change. We were going to be there for about an hour, so we had the option of getting off if we did not want to stay on the plane for an hour. We got off the plane, took one look at the chaos… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

Thank you for the video, I found my pictures of the gerbil tube about 14 minutes in, but there was good discussion of it starting at 12 minutes in through 16 minutes or so.. (then I went onto other things..

Brian
Guest

Thanks for sharing your perspective. I will be voting YES next week.

Bill Hough
Guest

Perhaps one reason that there is opposition to this proposal is that folks are starting to wise up to the edifice complex at places such as SMF. Could the proposed terminal be “value engineered” so that it is not so extravagant as the Palace of the Scary Bunny?” An overbuilt palace is one reason why airport food is so expensive. Anyone recall the concept of “street pricing?”

MRY-SMF
Guest

Before SMF had the bunny, we didn’t have flights to New Orleans, Austin, and Orlando. Thanks to the bunny, and nothing but the bunny, we will starting this spring.

John
Guest

Ha! You would have them sooner. Southwest was against that bunny and reduced flights because of the cost. Only recently costs are where they can add flights

haolenate
Guest

For some reason when I see the bunny, I can’t stop thinking about Monty Python….

Oliver
Guest

I don’t live anywhere near MCI, but how much does the average voter (not average Cranky devotee) know about those other airport projects?

And how many of those in the opposition would fly through Changi, Hong Kong etc and come back decrying that we have 3rd world facilities here?

Dave
Member

Great post, thank you. Lots of straightforward facts which will be ignored by 50% of the populace. I have lived in KC for three years now and cannot for the life of me understand why so many people are against it. I have settled on a combination of desire for simplicity, fear of change, and a heavy dose of good old fashioned Missouri anti-government paranoia.

Eric Morris
Guest

Well, my airport is the #1 in the country often, IND. I think it is great for visitors (except being ten miles further than old terminal) but find it to be a major hassle as a local, especially with kids. Maybe when schlepping car seats up and over an unnecessary bridge over the roadway is taken out of equation, my views will change. Maybe (some of) the paranoid and ignorant really aren’t.

Dave
Member

Well I can tell you from experience that kids don’t make anything easy LOL. Two people can have different views on what the airport experience should be and both be right. Some people define “convenience” in distances walked, others define it in terms of things like amount of seating available at the gate and the number of restrooms. What frustrates me about what is happening in MO right now are the lengths that people are going to in terms of putting out falsehoods in an attempt to block the airport. People are crazy.

jaybru
Member

Airline service issue number 2,345,212! Cranky to the rescue, and I can’t imagine anyone more qualified to do it.

Perhaps the fine people of KC will vote the funding and let Southwest use the revamped airport as its mid-continent hub, taking up all the gates, but subject to legacy-pal pols’ “Son of Wright Amendment” to ensure that it can’t use it to serve outbound and inbound KC locals. Let them drive to Lambert in STL.

Maybe get some funding from Smithsonian to make Terminal A as the National Airport Museum

steve
Guest

I sort of like visiting, but no surprise – Kansas City has been fifteen years behind everyone for 40 or 50 years now.

DAB
Guest

I thought everything was up to date I Kansas City… They’ve gone about as far as they can go…

SDFDuck
Guest

MCI looks and feels like a concrete bunker. It’s by far the worst airport I have ever flown out of – worse than LGA, worse than IAD’s giant perma-trailer terminal, even worse than MIA in the mid-90s. I’d never seen 5-minute lines for the men’s room at an airport before I flew out of MCI. I cannot fathom how anyone could defend the design of the terminal in this day and age.

David SF eastbay
Member

Security checking was the reason the design failed and was the reason TWA moved out of its KC hub to STL.

I don’t know how the second new Braniff operated a hub there using two terminals, it must have been a nightmare for a lot of connecting passengers.

Darkwater
Guest

About 60% of the Kansas City MSA lives in Missouri, so I’d suppose that a majority of the airport’s local users actually are Missourians

southbay flier
Guest

I’ve never been to MCI, but my experience connecting at DFW was never pleasant with long walks between gates and an illogical layout especially for connections. Most airports I like are designed in straight lines where it’s not too difficult to walk from gate to gate such as DEN, DTW, and ATL (which seemed to set that trend).

I remember flying out of the Delta area of Terminal C of SJC post 9/11 and once you cleared security there was a couple of vending machines and a single stall restroom beyond security. It was not pleasant.

Kilroy
Guest
Agreed on the connecting airports. For an airport of its size, I like the ATL setup the best… Minimal walking time (unless you have time to burn, which can be quite nice) and fairly quick curb to gate and connection times. DFW is great to fly in and out of if you are getting dropped off or picked up at the curb, otherwise it is a pain to fly in or out of, and a huge pain to connect in. I’d also add CLT and MSP to the list of airports having long walks to the curb, especially for the… Read more »
Tim Dunn
Member

Agree that ATL is probably the best US airport design; the terminals and concourses just need to be about 25% larger in every dimension. It works efficiently. Too bad DL can’t swap CVG’s concourse B with one of ATL’s.

iahphx
Member

It’s literally been decades since I’ve flown into MCI. I think the last time might have been in the final days of the Eastern Airlines hub! But, coincidentally, I’ve just booked an award ticket where I have to connect at MCI from an American RJ to an Alaska mainline aircraft. I kind of assumed that wouldn’t be a time consuming proposition — how big an airport could MCI be? But now I’m wondering if this isn’t an easy connection. Can any MCI experts tell me what I’m in for? Thanks!

Bertha Jean
Guest

AA is in Terminal C and AS is in B. Have fun.

Jack
Guest

Was just there; flew AS on Tuesday… if you need to eat, do it before going to the airport. As a former local, MCI needs to be fixed with a new terminal 10 years ago.

If this vote fails, the more affluent Kansas counties will probably start plotting on updating New Century as a MCI replacement

Jonathan R
Guest

“If this vote fails, the more affluent Kansas counties will probably start plotting on updating New Century as a MCI replacement”

When you said, “more affluent” you hit the nail on the head. Problem is, the fear of potential “airport noise,” generates a generates a proportional amount of NIMBY-itus, the more affluent you are.

Jonathan R
Guest

You’ll have to exit Terminal C where your American flight arrives. Go to the curb and look for a sign that says, “Red Bus.” Stand underneath that sign, so that the bus driver will notice you and pick you up. When you board the red bus, tell the driver you are going to Alaska Airlines. They will drop you off at Terminal B, where you will need to go through security screening to get to your connecting flight’s gate area.

Yep. It’s a pain in the a$$ to connect between different airlines at MCI.

iahphx
Member

Wow, so it’s a bus thing. Not walkable (like within 10 minutes)? I had no idea. I guess I didn’t think MCI was a “big” airport because, well, it shouldn’t be! I have an hour and a half, though — assuming everything is on schedule.

Cham Jum
Guest

It is walkable. Less than 10 minutes. Super easy. If the photo is a good reference, it’s about the length of 4 737s between terminal end points. I never bother with the bus.

Jonathan R
Guest
Cham Jum: Yes, but his actual walking distance is more than twice that distance due to the airlines he is flying in and out on. He’s coming from the American Airlines gates (near the end of Terminal C), and going to the Alaska Airlines gates (near the beginning of Terminal B). This means that the shortest walk would entail exiting Terminal B, turning to the right, walking to the end of the terminal curbwalk, going down the ramp, walking out to the Circle Parking sidewalk, turning left, follow that Circle Parking sidewalk underneath the Beruit Circle exit bridge, then underneath… Read more »
Gary73
Member

no it’s not an easy walk. AA is at one end of Terminal C; you need to walk to the other end, go outside with a narrow sidewalk, enter Terminal B where you navigate the large and congested Southwest complex of ticket counter and gates before getting to the closer-(to you)-of-the-two-separate Delta gate complexes. Cham Jum’s “4 737’s between the terminal end points” is not even half the trip.” I’ve worked at KCI and have walked this many, many times and you, as a passenger don’t want to do it.

Gary73
Member

let me amend that…you can enter Terminal B at the Delta end and have a shorter walk than via the Southwest side. but you still have to walk past the main Delta gate complex to the smaller one where AS operates. And your’re still starting from the far end of Terminal C. It’s still a hike and I still don’t recommend it.

Jonathan R
Guest
I’d recommend riding the red bus unless you are very familiar with the airport, and you really want to walk. The red bus is free, and the driver will drop you off in the proper location of the proper terminal for your connecting airline. If you are not familiar with the location of the steps and the pedestrian path between terminals, or where Alaska Airlines security checkpoint is located inside Terminal B, or if you are totting a roll-aboard suitcase and/or heavy carry on bags, I’d stick with the bus . . . at least on your outbound trip. That… Read more »
Cham Jum
Guest

You can easily walk from the end of one terminal to the other. It’s not a big deal. Sidewalk the whole way. Just head toward circle parking. Ramp down, ramp back up to the next terminal. Bus takes longer.

iahphx
Member

Thanks everyone for the advice. At least I now know what I’m in for! Certainly not what I was expecting, but certainly doable. I’ll just hope for an on-time arrival into MCI, as this transfer will obviously take a little time.

Gary73
Member
good luck iahphx! you just became “Exhibit One” for why we need a new terminal. Your AA RJ will land in Terminal C. depending on the inbound gate, you’ll have a bit of a hike through the congested gatehold area, to the public corridor and out to the curb. Your Alaska outbound will depart from Terminal B (neve rmind the “codeshare” marketing, you’ll be departing from a Delta complex). You will exit the Terminal C building, wait outside for a connection bus, ride to Terminal B, go through security (again) and go to your outbound Alaska flight. Delta has two… Read more »
iahphx
Member

Yeah, it sure sounds pretty bad. Oh, well. And I thought the routing looked pretty good! Since they’re Alaska award tickets, I could change them if something better came along, but that probably won’t happen. It sometimes seems like cities build airports as vanity projects, but this appears to be a situation where a new facility is sorely needed.

Chris
Guest

They can bring back Vanguard and Braniff while they’re at it. On a related note, the TWA museum at the downtown airport is actually pretty awesome with all the old Connies.

stogieguy7
Guest
I fly into MCI (or, as the locals call it: KCI) quite a bit on business and I can vouch for every point that Cranky makes. And I’ll even add one: only SOME of the security checkpoints are set up for TSA PreCheck. If your flight is at a gate not sersed by one of those checkpoints (and the odds are against you), you get a card and line up with everyone else. And you get a hybrid PreCheck experience where you may keep your shoes on, but your computer may have to come out of the bag (or vice… Read more »
Stephanie Raccoon
Guest

I lived in the KC area from 1999-2003. I remember liking the airport prior to 9/11. It was easy to get though security as every gate had it’s own checkpoint. The ability to get off the plane and get right on the curb was useful for the one time I didn’t have checked luggage.
After 9/11 and the TSA took over, it got bad. They combined checkpoints, and the narrow halls just could not handle the traffic.
Whereas I love the design of the airport, they really need a newer traditional terminal.

Jonathan R
Guest
I don’t live in the city limits of Kansas City, so I don’t have a vote on this. Unlike some, I don’t believe that I somehow deserve a vote, just because I use the airport frequently. Public airports in the United States do not usually enjoy an operating profit. They are subsidized . . . . heavily. I am not talking about capital infrastructure costs that can be financed by bonds that are serviced by user fees (passenger ticket taxes, landing fees, airline gate leases, car rental taxes, etc). I am talking about all of the recurring costs that aren’t… Read more »
Remington
Guest

I’m hoping for a no vote only because the airport is forever away from me and everyone else who lives on the better side of the state line. A cab to downtown KC is ridiculous. Even Uber to South JOCO is $100. We’d much prefer the vote fail and allow us to build the terminal at New Century Air Center in Kansas.

Davey
Guest
The distance to the airport for a city the size of Kansas City is absurd. The old pre-1971 was very nicely located but landlocked. The locational problem is a function of the state line, which is the same problem St. Louis has. The best place to build an airport probably is in Kansas, but the Missouri pols will never let that happen. Just like the probable best location for an airport in St. Louis is at Scott Air Force Base, but I promise that will never happen. The ultimate problem is that urban planners have a grandiose sense of what… Read more »
stan
Guest

i flew to kansas city once. it was about 20 years ago. i ordered a gin and tonic in an airport bar and it was served in a PINT GLASS. yes, a PINT of G&T! and it was like $5.

that’s all i got.

Seanny
Guest

The old terminal B at Sacramento was terrible (baggage claim in the check in area, anyone?) so it is weird to slam the new one as unneeded. The pre-train area may seem overbuilt, but it was built for a future concourse to be added as the metro area continues to grow. The bunny is quirky and doesn’t harm anyone.

Bfish
Member
Everything you say anout our current airport is true. Yes, we need a new airport for this firsr-rate, growing metropolis.The problem is the vote does not guarntee anything about a new airport. This vote gives carte blanch to a city government known for corruption. The only thing we know about the proposed plan is: A) It does not have enough gates to accommodate a growing metro. Yes, it is “expandable”, but why would we spend over a $billion dollars then have to turn around and expand a brand new airport? Who would pay for that? Bring a plan now large… Read more »
hk
Guest

Looking at the layout around WN gates, they could make whole B40 to B45 area into airside. That will solve the restroom and cramped gate area issues. Also make whole area B32 to B34 into airside and relocate TSA. Small bathroom at B31 could go landside for those waiting in the baggage claim. Those who need to pass by can walk outside the terminal. Beside WN gates, local passengers must have been well educated to use bathroom before security, so I won’t worry much.

This was just an opinion by me and I’ve never been to MCI airport….

CD
Guest
If this was Washington DC with it’s lifestyle and incomes maybe handing over KCI to a DC area corporation and slapping on God knows what “user fees” and “parking fee” increases wouldn’t be so impotant but here in the POORER “flyover zone” it will result in far less”local” flyers. It MAY be “more convienient” for the “coastal crowd” but SIGNING AN OPEN ENDED CONTRACT based on “GUESSTIMATES” AND “PROMISES” WITHOUT CONCRETE PLANS AND COSTS is something NO sensible homeowner would do…Then again politicians don’t see taking on billions in debt without guarantees as “a problem”. When both costs and hassles… Read more »
gammyjill
Member

Yesterday I flew into MCI for the first time on a weekend visit to Kansas City. We flew AA. My initial reaction was the convenience to the street. My next reaction was that the airport looked like an airport built in Soviet Russia. We also waited almost 25 minutes for the rental car bus. We’re leaving tonight and I’m not looking forward to returning the rental car and then navigating the Brutalist airport.

Greg S.
Guest
Traveled through the KCI terminal a couple of years ago – not to be redundant, but they desperately need a new terminal. Sounds like the airport authority and backers of the new terminal need to do a marketing sales blitz before the election to get it passed, not focusing on the cost, but the future benefits to the community and all users. It is a proven fact that a great airport facility leads to more flights, and economic development around the airport and in the city. Just refer to all the airports that are trying to lure big $ international… Read more »
Jonathan R
Guest

Breaking News:

Looks like the vote to approve the new terminal has passed easily in Kansas City. As of 9:00pm CST, with 61% of precincts reporting, the vote to approve the new terminal is leading 3 to 1. The Kansas City Star newspaper has characterized the early results, “The vote to a approve a new terminal wins by a huge margin.”

Tim Dunn
Member

all the hand-wringing here clearly helped. :-)

dlouisnicolas
Member

We had the Colbert Bump. Now we have the Crankster Bump.

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