Kansas City ponders airport renovation

Posted by Jay Devers
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A new billion dollar single terminal renovation has been proposed for the Kansas City International Airport in hopes to match the current building renaissance. Citizens are expected to vote on KC’s 45 year old airport because city officials promised that any changes, upgrades, or renovations would only happen if the citizens approved by a vote. While many travelers feel that KCI is one of the easiest, most convenient airports to use, there are many reasons why the upgrade needs to happen.

Expansions of airports, even specifically passenger expansions are a boon for airport cargo departments, and KCI is no different. While the airport is easy to navigate, simple and convenient, with cheap parking, there are infrastructure issues that can’t be ignored. Due to the age of the airport and the dramatic increase in the size of planes in the last 4 decades, many large planes have difficulty maneuvering around the two functional terminals. Coupled with this is a problem securing two separate terminals, often resulting in long lines of people waiting to pass.  A single terminal would upgrade the airport with better technology to suit the 11 million annual fliers, create new and fresh options in shopping and eating, and offer more space as the redesigned flow keeps travelers moving in a more efficient pattern.

The new terminal is expected to be 35 gates, expandable to 48 with a fresh shopping and food court at the front. This gives passengers the chance to sit and eat or shop while they wait and longer hours in the services would cater to later flights. A new 6500-spot parking garage would accommodate the increase in travelers with only an average of a $1 added to parking fees and a minimal bump in food and shopping prices to offset the cost of the renovation.

The plan for the upgrade was submitted by Kansas City-based engineering firm, Burns and McDonnell who would design, build, and privately finance the expansion through the earlier mentioned fees. The city of Kansas City would remain the owners and operators of the airport and state that this expansion would not cost taxpayers anything.

While Bestway International is excited to see more business and travel come through our home city, we understandably feel a little sting of nostalgia at the idea of a change in the airport. Many of our own memories are coupled with both family vacations and our professional work within the beloved KCI. However, we understand that the residents will not allow this change to take place without a thorough discussion and debate and we’re looking forward to the new information that will come from those meetings.  As the information becomes clearer, we will keep you informed here on our blog.

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