Several hundred people turned out this evening for a public forum on KCI sponsored by the Citizens Association and held that the KC library downtown. I’ll defer to the “professional” media for comprehensive reportage and of course, people will be able to view the forum for themselves on KCPT later this month. Meanwhile, I will make a few quick observations.
There were several outbursts of applause but only when someone made a comment against the single-terminal proposal or advocated a sensible alternative solution.
Councilman Dick Davis, who voted for the proposal in April said more than once that IF the Mayor’s Airport Task Force recommends the single-terminal that the council should put it to a vote of the people.
Councilman Scott Wagner who was one of the three “no” votes in April maintains that there are still many “whys” needing to be answered before that and that we need commitments from airlines before moving forward with anything.
Don Hensley, formerly with the FAA for over 30 years including managing FAA ops at KCI, had serious reservations about the proposed design or the need to destroy the current configuration and build a single terminal with only 37 gates.
John Murphy of Friends of KCI scored points by pointing out that many buildings in KC, including his house, are older than the airport and that we don’t simply tear them down and build new ones every time they need a repair. He also politely corrected moderator Nick Haines of KCPT (who did an excellent job) when discussing the number of security agents at KCI compared to New York. Something previously addressed here. Mr. Haines had the set of numbers supplied by Aviation Director, Mark VanLoh.
Speaking of Mr. VanLoh… Neither he nor Councilman Russ Johnson, the two most vocal proponents of the single-terminal proposal were there this evening.
There were several questions and observations offered from the crowd and it was very gratifying and encouraging to see well-informed and passionate citizen involvement on this most important issue.
As has been stated here before, Kansas City is a great, innovative city and we can do and deserve better than the current single-terminal proposal.