From the beginning, I’ve said that I’m not against a new terminal at KCI per se, but rather that most if not all of the reasons given were insufficient (or untrue) to justify both the incredible expense as well as the loss of KCI’s legendary speed and ease.
It should also be pointed out that the single-terminal design that has been paraded around and motion-rendered for our oooing and ahhing is not even a real design. It was a concept that someone came up simply for the purpose of rendering something sexy for presentation purposes. In fact, a former FAA official expressed concerns to me about the design until I told him it was not the final proposal.
So what ARE the possible alternatives and when do we get to have a discussion about them? At one time is it was said that the average distance from security to the gates in a new terminal would be 1100 feet or about 4 football fields. How do we know this without a real design? Might it be even longer? Is there a solution that keeps what we love about the current design and incorporates some improvements? Has the Aviation Department heard from architects or others with alternative designs and if so, when can we see them?
I think that everyone can agree that we want a solution that:
- Maintains the speed and convenience that we love about the current KCI
- Fixes the shortcomings that affect a relatively small share of passengers
- Does not hang a $50-60 million annual debt payment on an airport with only $106 million in annual revenue
The Mayor’s Airport Terminal Advisory Group is charged with making a recommendation as to whether the above are best accomplished with building a new terminal, by making improvements to the existing terminals or perhaps with some hybrid in between. I think we can also agree that without real, workable alternatives it will be impossible for us to make the best recommendation.