Today the Mayor’s KCI Task Force was able to tour the bowels of KCI. One of the ongoing mantras of the pro-single-terminal folks is, “It’s a 40 year-old building and it’s time to replace it.” (Of course, the fact that that the Stadiums and Crown Center are also 40 years-old and City Hall and the Plaza are double that, is irrelevant.) Anyway, one of the promised features of the tour was to see the water leaks, rust and corrosion like that shown in my photos above, that help make a 40 year-old building obsolete and beyond repair.

Take a close look at the two photos above. One of them is from our 40-year old airport. The other is from a 5 year-old office building near downtown. I don’t think the owners of the 5 year-old office building are planning on replacing it. By the way, the airport issue shown is from a supply pipe that the engineers said could be fixed in a few hours overnight if it was deemed necessary.

Of course there are other leaks and issues that we saw, including one that presented an ingenious bit of engineering to correct, but overall, the airport is in remarkable condition and it was confirmed that all of the infrastructure issues shown could be repaired. We also confirmed that the much discussed and photographed flooding hallway is restricted to the end of one terminal, it’s managable, can be repaired and ironically, they used to intentionally flood it to clean it prior to the influx of more electronics.

Obviously there were other areas discussed today such as de-icing, jet bridges, baggage handling and gate use. The de-icing issue is still irrelevant as KCI is EPA compliant and it can be dealt with separate from any terminal issues. The other issues will be discussed in later posts after some more research.

I was disappointed that there were no media allowed on the tour with us today. I’m not sure why as there was plenty of room and while there were good questions from the Task Force, I think the group, the process and thus the city would have benefitted from their participation.