This alternative design proposal was sent to me this morning by Tim Bleish. Tim is the founder and owner of Bag and Baggage in Overland Park. He is also a private pilot and frequent world traveller. He has volumes of experience as a passenger at KCI as well as airports all over the world. He conceived this money and convenience saving proposal while on a recent flight to Italy.
Here is his proposal for your review:
The goal is to update KCI keeping and possibly improving all of the conveniences we enjoy today while solving the inconveniences of multiple (14) security entrances and limited services in the secured areas. Before we spend $1.2 billion to accomplish the goal consider this alternative that saves $1 billion.
1. Lease terminal C for private use
2. Add a 2nd deck to terminals A and B to be used for ticketing and one centrally located security checkpoint. A drive-up ramp would allow passenger drop-off and curbside check-in.
3. The now completely secure gate level can be used for revenue producing shops, restaurants, bars, lounges and restrooms. Luggage carousels could be located under the TSA security checkpoint and on the extreme ends of the terminal. Passenger pickup would still happen at the gate level.
4. The terminal parking garages are greatly expanded to 12 levels in order to accommodate affordable long term parking. Three sky-bridges are added at the 2nd level where the tunnels and elevators are currently located for easy access to security and ticket counters.
Imagine driving to KCI and parking in a covered parking spot and walking to a nearby elevator down to the 2nd level where a short sky-bridge delivers you to a single TSA checkpoint. You could literally go from your car to the security line in 3 minutes.
Now imagine having a layover in Kansas City and having the option of shopping in some very fine stores, getting a haircut, eating in a nice restaurant or watching the football game in the sports-bar. All without ever leaving security.
Finally, imagine you are an executive with a major airline. You are looking to expand service but all of the new airports have such high landing fees and station rent that being profitable is a challenge, except Kansas City. By saving $1 billion dollars on our airport renovation, we are able to offer the airlines and public money-saving rent, parking, and airline tickets.
Let’s be bold and practical. Resist the shiny new toy in the window and make the most of the assets we already have in place. The public will appreciate it, the airlines will appreciate it and the voters will appreciate it.