It’s been nearly a year since voters approved a new KCI terminal in spite of having no final plan or solid cost estimates on which to vote. There were of course, nice renderings with an impressive grand lobby fountain, a projected opening date of late 2021, and an estimated price tag of $964 million.
Since then, the renderings have become simpler, the impressive fountain is gone, the completion date has been pushed back a year, and today KSHB-TV reports that the price tag has doubled to nearly 2-billion. All of this in less than 12 months.
At what point does someone in City Hall call “time out” on behalf of the overwhelming majority of voters who checked the “Trust Us” box?
I’m on the record as having urged a no vote due primarily to the lack of a plan and firm numbers. I’d hoped I’d be proven wrong. I had come around to accepting the need for a new terminal due to recent changes in aircraft capacities, load factors and increased flights (in spite of the airlines telling us they could/would not expand service in the existing terminals.) I was simply uncomfortable checking the “Trust Us” box based on the experiences of the previous 5 years. That said, I’m not accepting the need to spend whatever it takes to make all of the various political constituencies happy, the developers happy, and the airlines happy, while we who simply want a fast, convenient and inexpensive flying experience are told to shut up and get out the checkbook.
It’s time for the accountability and complete transparency that so many called for all along. Unless they are building two terminals, we need to understand how the price doubles in one year and what we are in fact (not theory) being asked to get behind and ultimately pay for. And then we need the opportunity to press the re-boot button if that is revealed to be the responsible option.