…And is spot-on with his observations. Some excerpts:
Aviation officials have only themselves to blame for bungling replacement of the current, three-terminal setup with a single terminal.
For example, here is a slide show from KCI officials on an earlier plan to build the new, single terminal four miles to the south, to be closer to Johnson County/KC residents. Alas, it turns out it would have added hundreds of millions of dollars in unanticipated road construction expenses. So that plan died.
This slide show is frankly what alerted me to this issue in the first place over a year ago. It was so nutty that frankly, I thought this would all just die and go away. How are there hundreds of millions in “unanticipated road construction expenses” when there are no existing roads to the proposed site. Moreover, there was ZERO mention of the existing businesses and facilities on north side of the airport. What about the brand-new rental car facility and city-owned economy parking lots that would have been essentially inaccessible while we continue to pay the construction bills. What about the hotels and shuttle lots, many of which would have likely shut down?
The same people who were proposing that as the best solution, are now proposing this one.
KCI officials and elected leaders have failed for months to provide compelling proof that the single terminal idea is good for Kansas City’s future.
Here, for example, is what City Council member Russ Johnson said late last year: “I think it’s safe to say that until we get a new terminal, we will continue to lose market share.”
In other words, some airlines won’t continue to fly to KCI – and won’t start new routes – if KCI keeps its current terminals.
So where’s the proof of that fact?
Likewise, the city still hasn’t provided any compelling proof that a single terminal would come close to providing the customer convenience that the current arrangement does – something that it does to the great applause of so many local travelers.
Some boosters of a new KCI terminal say the current design suffers because it doesn’t have lots of places to buys mementos or food. But if these guest services really build a successful airport, one that actually contributes to a healthy local economy with more flights for local residents, let’s see some concrete proof.
Read the whole column here.
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!