Sam GravesCongressman Sam Graves, whose second district includes KCI, has a guest column in the Kansas City Star today. In it he adds his voice and a federal perspective to the call for waiting and reassessing the single-terminal proposal

It appears the city is planning to pursue federal funding for part of the project, and that inevitably means some Washington bureaucrats who don’t appreciate how we feel about the convenience of the current layout will attach strings to that money. Federal funding would also only cover a fraction of the cost of constructing the new airport.

I seem to recall supporters opining that federal funds would cover all of it, though later some backed off. Some are now concerned that there might be zero federal funds.

The remainder would likely come from bonds, which the public would need to approve.

Those proposing a new terminal suggest that taxpayers won’t be stuck with the bill for the portion that Washington doesn’t cover, and that citizens will be completely immune from debt associated with the project.

But the bonds would be paid back through ticket prices, higher fees, and taxing the food and drink you buy at the airport. So if you use KCI, you’ll be paying more anyway.

Yes, pointing out what many have already posted here.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to file a new master plan every 10 years, and as the result of legislation I got passed last year, they must take customer convenience into account when planning for the future.

We’re just five years away from a new master plan, and at that time we can assess how best to move forward.

An excellent suggestion, especially since as he also points out, the airport would not be constructed by then anyway. Moreover, we still have yet to see any evidence that the aviation marketplace circa 2018 and beyond has been adequately considered. The majority of the case presented has been based on today’s perceived “issues” some of which can dealt with immediately without building anything.

Without properly looking ahead to 2018 and beyond, it’s conceivable that in that next master plan we would need to “fix” our brand-new 1.2 billion airport to meet the needs of the subsequent 10-years.

KCI, like the Truman Sports Complex, was a brilliant design that still works after 40 years. Let’s not spend 1.2 billion on something that might need a fix before we even cut the ribbon. Let’s take our time and get it right.


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