Here is an excerpt from an excellent piece in the Star from last year.
Having worked in the airline industry for 10 years, I have experienced more airports in this country than I would care to admit. What we currently have at KCI is exceptional. It is quite a unique experience compared with any of the others, new or old, around the country.
And it is superior in so many ways. JD Power consistently ranks it as one of the top five airports in the country. A $258 million Terminal Improvement Project was completed in November 2004 bringing KCI up to date. Some additional modifications just might take care of the minor upgrades on the wish list and would make a new $1 billion to $2 billion terminal unnecessary.
When I asked, McBride said that there weren’t any organized groups lobbying for or against a new terminal. But you can bet that if a new terminal is planned and I haven’t seen compelling reasons from that study, I will be out there with my “save this airport” sign.
I fly 20 times a year. KCI is perfectly serviceable. The security costs are slightly higher due to the pre 9/11 layout. You can operate at this level for centuries before approaximating the cost of a new airport . Building a new airport is pure insanity in this time when government deficits are already sky high.
I have lived in KC for more than 5 years and I am a big fan of KCI. Having traveled across the US and world, I feel KCI has one of the best airports. When you take passengers travel time into consideration, KCI cuts down that time to more than half. You can get to the airport 45 minutes early and still get on that place.
The present system has a high security points / person ratio which lets the authorities examine and check each of the passengers carefully without having to hurry up or skimp on security procedures.
The semicircular format of the terminals gives more space for vehicles to move around and wait to pick up passengers.
There is no need for a new airport. They could upgrade the infrastructure of the present airport to match the airports of bigger cities. It would be economical and a more intelligent decision
Rebuild KCI? 1.2B dollars? Really? I see the need but how about a solution without gutting all of the infrastructure already in place and paid for. Lease terminal C for private use, add a second level to terminals A and B including ramps for passenger drop-off. Put ticket counters on the 2nd level along with a centrally located single TSA checkpoint leading to an an entirely TSA secure 1st level between the tunnels leading to short term parking. Put baggage pickup on the extreme ends of each terminal outside of the tunnels leading to parking.
With the leftover 1 billion dollars, add 10 levels to the parking garages so passengers can park in covered parking areas and walk to the ticket counters or security areas. Or use it to construct the light rail to downtown or the suburbs, Johnson County would be nice. Or do both.
Come on can’t we utilize 1.2B that gives us a better bang for the buck!
To Kansas City’s Ruling Class:
Your financiers (taxpayers) want to VOTE on whether to spend $1.2-BILLION on yet another remake of KCI.
Failure to allow this could result in your future unemployment as a Ruling Class member.
Why is this plan being jammed down out throat when the users/citizens clearly don’t want it, particularly in this economy? One of the primary reasons given for the new terminal is “to adopt to all the security challenges of the modern aviation world”. Really? KCI does require more security areas, but I’m pretty certain we can pay for a few additional check points for the $ the planners are throwing around. Let’s shut this bad idea down!
So, what can we do to stop this??
Linda, the answer is nothing. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, which we can do! Your city government has ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION of listening to listen to what its citizens want! Get it? If you don ‘t, just ask Clay Chastain.
NO! to a new airport. I echo all the comments I have read. If the city can come up with a billion from the heavens, let them use it much more wisely. Rail Line in to downtown, modifying the few inconveniences in the terminals, etc.I live five minutes from Crown Center. Being able to take a train to the airport from there would be fabulous.
I have used KCI for 30 years traveling throughout the country and it is one of the most convenient airports to use. The idea that a new airport with one terminal is needed for more shops and to reduce operations costs shows that our leadership is more interested in glitz vs managing the dollar. I understand that operations costs are higher than some airports but I cannot see how those increased costs warrant spending over a billion dollars to make one terminal. Instead of one terminal, combine the airlines into 2 terminals and build a sky walk like what is in Dallas. Our airport was built in the same model as DFW and you dont hear them wanting to rebuild it, instead they have made it more efficient. Look at other airports that have remodeled like Reagan and LaGuardia, those airports have multiple checkpoints too and they have enhanced and updated versus starting over. KC’s leadership needs to show that same level of fiscal responsibilty.
Lets enhance and improve KCI one of the most efficient and highly rated vs starting over.
I travel out of KCI every week and love the convenience and efficiency of the current layout. Even if you had to change terminals, the ease of using the shuttle bus far outweighs the long, long walks between terminals even enclosed in other locations. There is no confusion about where you are or where you need to be. Please, please, keep this current design. Do not mess this up just for the sake of having something new.
I’ve been flying for 46 years, most of it has been out of or into KCI-And i have been Bragging about KCI since my first Flight in-There is not a Major or Midsized Airport in the country that is even close on ease of Travel and the in/out Factor.
I am sometimes an Industrial Engineer and deal in Time Saviing,flow, and reducing delays-and KCI is a Model of efficiency.-To address a few points
(1) It costs more for Security-so what We are Paying for That-They are not going to reduce their Ticket Prices if they have fewer Security People
(2) Takes more People to Run-same answer as Above
(3) Have few Shops & Resturants-An airport is not a Mall or Restaurant District (Granted the Old Airport had one of the best Restaurants in KC)
Considering that they are closing one Terminal Down(That can be easily Mothballed) there is no major increase in travel coming-The only Reasons for a New Single Terminal are
Lucrative,Lifetime Jobs for the People Building & Managing the New Terminal-
Promise of Tax Money from the Shops and Resturants-Thanks-Gray
If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. This effort goes along with the rail car ideas. Got to keep up with the Joneses.
I travel extensively and KCI is the best airport design … Truly meets the need of the business travelers. Plane to curbside and you can be on the road home in less than 20 minutes even when checking bags. Why would we want an airport design that will increase costs and make travel more difficult?
I have traveled the world and love the ease and convenience of KCI. De plane and you are usually waiting for your luggage to arrive at the carosel. Never mind a long walk from the terminal to the baggage area like Detroit or Atlanta. The powers that be need to think about what the people really want… not what some politician wants because they want to run a government boondoggle and spend (can you say cost overun?) money that DOES NOT need to be spent. As the old saying goes… “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!”
Why? Why? Why? Is money running out of their pockets that they can’t wait to spend billions on fixing something that works just fine? Can’t they (the city leaders? the state? the federal govt.?) find something more worthwhile to do with this money? It seems that in KC we have a lot of other places to spend it (infrastructure, i.e. sewers, etc.); you know the federal government could pay down some debt with it. Whatever. It’s really frustrating that we never get listened to…
Repair what is needed and rearange the carriers to achieve balance of airplane traffic. No new terminal is needed at this time. To spend unnecessary money at this ‘iffy’ point in the financial status of our country is insanity!
Friends from all over the country flying into this airport love the convenience of picking up their bags, literally feet from where they deplane! Same with flying out- Ticket counter, walk a few feet, get on the plane! This is a no-brainer. Are you kidding me? Don’t destroy one of the reasons people come here and spread good thoughts all over the world about Kansas City!!!
Add facing semi-circles and double the size. The semi-circle design is the easiest to enter
I agree and I think the people in charge don’t give a hoot about the citizens of Kansas City. This is a perfect example of government regulators who have their priorities upside down. It is up to citizens to demand they be listened to, and insist that common sense prevails. In this case, it is common sense to keep our unique, and customer friendly airport, and don’t waste $1-2 Billion making it government friendly. KCI may require more screeners, OK. How many screeners could $1-2 Billion pay for? When they say $1 Billion, that is code for $2+ Billion, you know. Come on people, speak up now before it’s too late!
The best airport in the country…. end of story….period!
I agree with the comment. Government in Kansas City has a dismal track record when it comes to litening to its citizens. Light rail has gone nowhere, even though it was voter approved (the city council over road the wishes of the voters). What did we get instead? More busses running late.Oh, don ‘t forget that new high capacity/super speedy streetcar line which will be coming soon. Last time I saw one of those, the Cisco Kid was driving a stagecoach up Grand in an American Royal parade. I was twelve at the time. I ‘m sixty-seven now. Oh yes,everything ‘s up to date in Kansas City.
One more thing. Just how many steps will an old man walking with a cane have to take to get from the curb to the seat on his flight? I’d like an answer to that question.
I agree. Voters approved the light rail. We should get what we voted for, not what the City Council wants. This could be a major improvement to the KC area. I like the fact that we can just drive up, drop off and pick up. Other airports that I have visited, it is a hassle!! Don’t bring that to KCI!!!!