KCI officials get a tentative go-ahead to proceed with planning for a new single-terminal airport. A city council committee has scheduled a full council vote next week.
Both the Transportation and Infrastructure committee and the full council heard presentations on the plan this morning.
Aviataion Director Mark VanLoh assured the committee that the new terminal would incorporate most features those objectors like so well in the old one. He said access would be just as quick as at the present airport and the walking distance from the curb to the gate would actually be shorter than at present.
VanLoh and consultant Mark Perryman also told the committee that the new airport would have better security and better baggage handling capabilities. It would also, they said, be more flexible for the airlines, accommodating mergers and expansions at less expense to the carriers and offering efficiency and technology that could draw additional airlines to KCI and possibly make it a hub for one.
City Manager Troy Shulte reminded the group that the planning is still in its early stages. Exact costs are not calculated, but are estimated at $1.2 billion.
Schulte said the airport and the federal government would pay for the construction, but the municipal bonds to underwrite construction require voter approval.
Most of the members of the public who addressed the two meetings spoke in favor of the new terminal plan.
Two opponents, Patrick Shami and Patrick Touhey raised questions about whether the project could actually be done without cost to taxpayers and whether the aviation department had hired a PR firm to try to manipulate skeptical voters into accepting the department's plan.