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.
It’s an interesting idea, but I question the feasibility. Are the current terminals physically able to support another level? $200 million seems low for the project when you consider the cost of doubling the size of 2 terminals and parking garages, plus the infrastructure changes.
If you need to lower the cost, you could leave the parking as is and still accomplish the goal of reducing the theTSA checkpoints and adding a functional completely secure gate level with lots of revenue producing shops and restaurants.
I still question the cost. Let’s do some cocktail napkin math:
The original airport cost $250 million in 1972 dollars, about $1.4 billion today when accounting for inflation.
Let’s say you want to add an upper deck to 2 terminals equivalent to the current buildings. 2/3 of $1.4 billion is still nearly a billion dollars. And I suspect that the costs of building another structure on top of the current structure would push it higher still.
And all this assumes that it’s even possible to build upon the current terminals, which is far from assured.
For that price? Just build a new airport.
I like cocktail math Max, assuming the airport would cost 1.4 bilion today, subtact the cost of land, runways, control tower, parking structures, rental car terminal, fire house and safety equipment, radar towers and other avionic equipment, highway infrastructure and you’re are left with a fraction of the original cost.
The problem with cocktail math is we haven’t had anyone who truly knows, work on a proposal. I still think if Sprint Center can get built in the center of Downtown for 350 million, adding a 2nd deck to two terminals can’t possibly close to that.
You’re forgetting that there was already an airport at the location before it became home to KC’s commercial air service.
No way that will save $1 billion. Notice how “airport planner” is not in his job title?
I think if you can build the entire Sprint Center for $350 million and rehab each stadium for under $500 million, you can add two levels to terminals A and B for $200 million. You don’t have to be an airport planner to know that, just have some common sense
You also don’t need to know anything about airport construction to post opinions on websites .
Can we agree its worth investigating?
So is this money just burning a hole in someone’s pocket?
We just rehabbed the airport to bring it up to standards, leave it as it is.
NOBODY looks to airports for “fine” shopping and dining.
Airports are for getting on and getting off airplanes, or picking up or dropping off people getting on planes… and KCI does it best of any airport in the world. Leave it as it is. Spend some on the KCMO school district, it is something that really needs improved.
I think this is a very workable plan. Ask other airports have trams or railways groom terminal to terminal. this would at least solve the so called problem for the tsa. I really don’t go to the airport to shop our ea, but when Iave to wait it would be nice to have options.
How about some mass Trans from the burbs. It’s earth day. Let’s solve the car problems too.
Let’s simplify even further.
How about make terminal B the security, check-in spot, with still some gates there but the remainder of all the gates to our flights available in terminals A and C by ramps from B?
It makes too much sense.
If we need to grow and expand later, THEN do the above, added levels.
Keep it simple.
Let’s simplify even further, shut the thing down and turn it into a museum. Your precious $$$ will be saved and you can visit the terminal of your dreams, even if it’s 40 years out of date.
Big thumbs up!
Appears to be great, workable plan that does not require spending billions.
This makes too much sense for Van Loh and those that get off on spending money.
Finally somebody that makes some sense!!!!!