An editorial in today’s Star at least leaves the door open to alternatives to the single terminal KCI proposal but at the same time opens with the typical, fly-by lines that no one notices but they leave an subtle impression nonetheless.

Building a modern, fully functional airport is a high priority for the Kansas City area, residents and many local companies.

Says who? Surveys say KCI is NOT a priority for most. Addressing some noted concerns are certainly a priority for some but “Building a modern, fully functional airport” is way down the current priority list for most.

Here’s one clear vision of what a new Kansas City International Airport would feature: a single terminal with convenient passenger drop-off zones, efficient security lines, quick walks to gates, and a wider variety of desirable restaurants and shops.

First of all, if it was that “clear” there would not be so many questions. And again the subtle suggestion is that these are all obviously good things that we obviously want and obviously don’t have or else we would not need to build the new terminal, right?

  • jdpWe already have convenient passenger drop-off zones.
  • Other than Southwest, we already have efficient security lines and no one has yet said how many single-terminal security lines they are proposing. We only know that every other airline’s passengers will be joining those Southwest lines.
  • “Quick walks to the gates” apparently is superior to the current “No walks to the gates.” The average walk to the gate in the proposed terminal is 1,100 feet or nearly 4 football fields in length. So grab a carry-on bag and head over to your nearest high school football field if you want to see exactly how long “quick” is.
  • There is no such thing as a desirable airport restaurant – unless one enjoys paying $15 for a sandwich.

Yes, the estimated cost of $1.2 billion is significant, and it should be trimmed as city officials claim can be done, if this option is eventually selected. Still, that investment could be a wise one, given that it would pay for improvements lasting at least 30 or 40 years while providing large payoffs to this community for decades to come.

Not surprisingly, nowhere in the rest of the piece do we learn what exactly these “large payoffs” are.

Maybe they meant to say “requiring large payments on a 1.2 billion dollar loan.”



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