The future of the Kansas City International Airport has been talked about for years — in public hearings and forums, as well as meetings of the airport terminal advisory group, airport committee, and the Kansas City Council.
Thursday could mark a crucial turning point for what's expected to be a $1 billion project.
There's a 4 p.m. deadline for engineering firms to submit their qualifications, or an RFQ/P. The proposals are expected to include plans to "design, build and privately finance a 750,000-square-foot terminal" with a parking garage and 35 to 42 gates.
After the deadline, city officials announced four applicants submitted bids, but they did not reveal specific details about the interested firms. On Friday, the city released the names of the four firms: Burns & McDonnell KCI Hometown Team, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate LLC, JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle Midwest LLC), and KCI Partnership LLC (AEComm Capital).
Looking ahead, here's a timeline of what's next:
Aug. 10: Financing proposals are due from the firms who submitted an RFQ/P on July 27. According to city officials, funds will come from airport revenue not the city's general fund.
The City Council's airport & finance and governance joint committee is expected to meet to discuss proposed ballot language regarding a new terminal for the November election.
Aug. 14: Finance proposals are expected to be made available to the selection committee.
The selection committee will meet to evaluate proposals — and choose one. The six members are: City Manager Troy Schulte, Councilman Jermaine Reed, Councilwoman Jolie Justus, and three members of Kansas City's aviation department — director Pat Kline, engineer Phil Muncie, and chief financial officer John Green.
On Thursday, the City Council passed an ordinance so more council members would be able to attend this meeting. Subject matter experts will also be available to advise.
The committee is expected to announce their choice of applicant the week of August 14. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will then be crafted by the city and the proposer. The MOU will require a City Council vote.
Aug. 16: Mayor Sly James hosts a KCI town hall from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.
Aug. 17: The City Council's airport & finance and governance joint committee is expected to meet.
Aug. 24: Full session of the City Council. Ballot language must be approved as an ordinance on this date to place before voters in the November 7th election.
Aug. 29: Deadline for the City Clerk to notify the election authorities about placing the ordinance on the ballot.
Nov. 7: Election day. Voters could potentially consider two proposals crafted by the City Council. One would "authorize the construction of a new passenger terminal" and "the demolition of the existing KCI terminals as necessary, without creating any general obligation indebtedness or requiring a tax increase." The other, with language still in committee, would authorize the construction of the new terminal, as well as "the issuance and sale of airport revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $990,000,000.00."
This post was last updated on August 15.
Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter @lauraspencer.
Lisa Rodriguez is the afternoon newscaster at KCUR 89.3. Connect with her on Twitter @larodrig.