KCI

KC Aviation Department

For two years, KCI Airport officials have leaned heavily on promoting the idea of a new single-terminal concept when reporting aviation details to City Council committees.

Not this time.

New Aviation Director Patrick Klein reported to the Airport Committee on Wednesday and focused entirely on ideas for improving the existing terminals.

In May, Mayor Sly James said the city was putting discussions on a new single-terminal for KCI on hold after research suggested an overwhelming lack of public support.

Jasssmit - CillanXC - kkeithphoto / Creative Commons

When it comes to metros that Kansas City considers its competition for business, population growth, conventions and prestige: Forget about St. Louis. We left that rivalry behind in the last century.

People whose job it is to keep KC competitive point to Nashville, Denver, Charlotte, Minneapolis and Louisville as among our chief 21st century opponents.

KC Aviation Department

Airport consultants focused on two possible layouts for a new terminal Tuesday as they explained to the Kansas City Council Airport Committee why those designs would meet airline needs. 

One was configured in an “H” shape, while the other could be described as shaped like a shallow letter “V.”

Neither represented a formal final design, but Ken Brown of the terminal design firm PGAL used them to explain how their footprints would be compatible with airplane traffic and security and baggage systems.

Landrum & Brown / Kansas City Aviation Department

An increase of $3 a day at some airport parking facilities and a modest but unspecified ticket price increase would be the only effect of a new billion-dollar terminal on travel costs. That was the essence of a report aviation officials presented to the Kansas City Council Airport Committee on Tuesday.

Aviation officials presented a financing scenario involving revenue bonds, federal grants and airline participation. 

Their numbers were based on 3 percent inflation, 6 percent interest rates on the bonds and a passenger traffic gradual increase of 40 percent by 2045.

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

A small group of Kansas Citians gathered outside the Kansas City Gun Show at the KCI Expo Center Saturday to call for stricter gun control.

Organizer Alice Kitchen says she'd like to see stricter background checks for guns as well as a more concerted effort from gun producers to keep firearms from falling into the hands of criminals.

Rendering courtesy of Crawford Architects

Airline consultants have rejected a proposal to renovate existing KCI terminals rather than build a new one.

Consultant Lou Salomon of AvAirPros told the Kansas City Council Airport Committee Tuesday that the renovation plan lacks the flexibility needed for a forecast 40 percent passenger traffic growth by 2040 and underestimates the costs.

“The major renovations are just less efficient,” Salomon said. “And they cost more – and not just from the initial capital costs perspective.  They cost more to operate and maintain and to finance.”

Crawford Architects, LLC.

Kansas City officials have debated the future of Kansas City International Airport for years, but there's another proposal on the table that could change the conversation.

KC Aviation Department

An Aviation Department Study presented to the full Kansas City Council on Thursday concludes that Kansas City International Airport's three terminals could be replaced for $964 million, approximately $40 million less than the lowest estimate for renovating two of the existing terminals.

The study was finalized and presented at the request of Council Airport Committee chair Jolie Justus, who was emphatic that it must include dollar-figure estimates for both renovation and replacement.

KC Aviation Department?Steve Bell

The Kansas City Council's new Airport Committee is making it clear that the airlines will not dictate the future of KCI. 

The committee held its first meeting on Tuesday, and the main course was a report from Aviation Director Mark VanLoh on the history and status of the airport.

Councilwoman Teresa Loar was perhaps the most assertive with VanLoh when he suggested that since the airlines will pay for whatever is done, they should have the most say in whether the airport terminal is renovated or replaced.

Frank Morris / KCUR

More than four out of five Kansas City area residents have to cross the Missouri river to get to Kansas City International Airport.  For many it’s a lengthy drive, one that begs the question “why is our airport so far?”  

Cody Newill / KCUR

For the mayor of Kansas City, life is not boring.

Fresh off a triumphant re-election campaign, Sly James is set to face a city council with nine new faces— something he says will be a challenge.

“It is difficult to integrate nine people onto a 12 person council,” James told Up To Date host Steve Kraske on Wednesday.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council elections are fast approaching, and several of the races look to be closely contested.

One of those is in the 4th district, where former Jackson County Executive Katheryn Shields is giving incumbent Jim Glover a spirited run.

Both Shields and Glover joined Up To Date host Steve Kraske at the KCUR studios to discuss some of the city's most pressing issues.

Landrum & Brown / Kansas City Aviation Department

You may not be shocked to hear that Kansas City International Airport is in the running for "worst airport in America."

A poll being conducted by design and technology blog Gizmodo lists eight airports in contention for the title. The list of candidates was gleaned from nominations they solicited from more than 600 disgruntled travelers.

Currently, New York's LaGuardia Airport leads the poll with more than 24 percent of the 5,775 total votes. KCI has 6.4 percent.

Landrum & Brown / Kansas City Aviation Department

The recommendation to replace the three terminals at the Kansas City International Airport with one new building is still controversial among the general public.

But according to its final report, the mayor's airport advisory commission didn't find it was controversial at all.

Commission co-chairman Dave Fowler said Thursday that the panel began its study of the airport as a group divided in opinion, but finished in nearly complete agreement.

Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

Moving one step closer to a final resolution on Kansas City International Airport's future, Mayor Sly James' task force recommended a new single terminal Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with the co-chairs of that advisory panel about why it recommended this option, which has encountered fierce opposition in the Kansas City metro area.

Guests:

Alex Smith / KCUR

A slew of remaining questions prevented the KCI Terminal Advisory Group from making its official recommendation Tuesday morning.

The group, which was created by Mayor Sly James, is expected to make a recommendation to the City Council on one of three plans for the future of the Kansas City International Airport.

A citizen taskforce soon could make a recommendation for the future of Kansas City International Airport. 

After nearly a year of work, the group has narrowed the many possible options down to three — renovating the existing terminals and building new screening areas and parking facilities, revamping two terminals and connecting them with a central building, or constructing a new terminal. 

Architect Bob Berkebile helped draw up plans for KCI more than four decades ago. He now co-chairs the advisory group.

Interview highlights

Critics Express Concern Over Potential KCI Changes

Feb 25, 2014
Julie Denesha / KCUR

Mayoral investigators searching for best ways to improve Kansas City International Airport heard another barrage of public input Monday night.

Most of it was against radical change from multiple terminals. The most common sentiments were to update the existing structure.

Alan Norman said he finds the airport user-friendly but not perfect.

"There are some operating inefficiencies there and maintenance problems and security problems that are expensive," said Norman.

 

Representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration told Kansas City's Airport Terminal Advisory Committee Monday that their agency wouldn't pay very much of the cost of building a new terminal. But a consultants report suggested a new terminal building might help pay for itself.

Sandwiches, coffee and soft drinks could help pay for a new terminal according to Garfield Eaton of transportation consultants Frasca & Associates. He says KCI finished in last place for concession revenues among 20 airports studied - about 66 cents for each departing passenger.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Kansas City can finally hang a “no vacancy” sign on one of its largest and most important industrial buildings.  

In its heyday some 6000 people worked in the TWA overhaul base at KCI. The place is massive, a million square feet, more room than all three terminals combined. When American Airlines pulled out a few years ago, the place was empty. Now, after an intensive marketing campaign Mark VanLoh, Kansas City’s Aviation director says, it’s just the reverse.

Southwest Airlines announced Tuesday that it would begin nonstop service to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., beginning Feb. 1.

Southwest received authority to serve the route after filing a petition with the U.S. Department of Transportation. The request was backed by the Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

In a release from the Kansas City Aviation Department, James said the announcement solidifies Kansas City's reputation as a top-tier, centrally located travel destination.

Airlines Lukewarm On New KCI Terminal Concept

Jan 14, 2014

Airlines that use KCI are not convinced a complete terminal replacement would help their business.

Airline officers took their turn appearing before the advisory group on the airport’s future.

The advisory group appointed by the Mayor is exploring whether to recommend a new terminal layout or renovate what’s there.

Southwest Airlines executive Ron Ricks spoke for all major carriers at the airport and said the current system operates well.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Overnight Wednesday, movers hauled US Airways' remaining equipment out of KCI Terminal A to Terminal C, but the future of KCI remains undecided.

City officials say Terminal A won’t necessarily be demolished, but closing little-used Terminal A saves about $2.5 million a year, says Joe McBride with city aviation.

Kansas City Aviation Department

Whether or not to rebuild KCI is still a hotly-debated topic, and Kansas City voters might have a say in the matter.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, the issue at hand is whether the airport, built in the early 1970s, can still efficiently serve the community's needs with its current infrastructure.

Guests:

Julie Denesha / KCUR

At Kansas City International Airport, Air Canada, US Airways and United are moving to Terminal C, and Terminal A is expected to close on Jan. 9, 2014. But what does this mean for the public artwork - inside and outside the terminal?

United Airlines and Air Canada were supposed to move Wednesday night from Terminal A to Terminal C at Kansas City International Airport, but those plans got delayed. 

KCI spokesman Joe McBride says technical issues were to blame.

“As they were getting into the eleventh hour of the move, the computer technology was not all coming on line,” said McBride. “So it looked like the airline was not going to have the ability to check people in be it at the ticket counter or the kiosk.”

McBride says he expects the terminal change will take place early next week. 

4 Things You Should Know About The KCI Decision

Aug 26, 2013
Julie Denesha / KCUR

Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star has been covering the potential overhaul of KCI. KCUR’s Susan Wilson sat down with Helling and had these four takeaways:

1. Taxpayers will not bear the weight of the $1.2 billion price tag.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Senator Claire McCaskill feels it’s too early to say how she would lean toward federal funding of renovations at KCI Airport.

The Missouri  Democrat  says she understands the single-terminal “A” concept stirs passions.

The Senator was waiting amid the noise of Gates Barbecue in Independence  when she talked with a pair of reporters, saying it’s too soon for serious conversation  about the airport since there isn’t even a proposal for change.

The Mayor has  appointed an ad hoc commission to recommend changes to the  airport.

KCI ARFF

It’s been more than 18 years since KCI had a deadly jet crash. But the crash of a jet at SFO in San Fransisco, Calif. last month is still fresh in the minds of the KCI airport firefighting crew.

Right next to KCI on the former TWA overhaul base, there is a boneyard of old planes, parts of them on pavement. One is an engineless 727 jet and airport Fire Chief Matt Mauer has just had a special crash truck spray it down with fire suppressing foam.

Landrum & Brown / Kansas City Aviation Department

Kansas City International Airport is looking at a potentially major change-- tearing down the current three terminals and moving to a single, new terminal.  

The one terminal idea came to a head in 2008 when the Master Plan called for a new, central terminal south of the current airport.  That came just 4 years after the airport wrapped up nearly $260 million in renovations.

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