Today’s incident with the partial shutdown and evacuation of Terminal C due to an unruly passenger on an American Airlines flight, was noteworthy for what did not happen as much as it was for what did. And predictably, also what was reported vs what was not…
According to news accounts, Terminal C was partially shut down and evacuated from around noon until 4:30. What is not mentioned is that the rest of Terminal C and all of Terminal B maintained normal operations. In this case, according to the FlyKCI website, normal operations appears to be about 80 arrivals and departures during that time.
When the TSA representative addressed the Mayor’s Airport Terminal Advisory Group in 2014, he mentioned that our current design of separate terminals with separate security areas within each terminal created convenient security zones that were easier for TSA to secure, manage and isolate any sudden threats. This ability to isolate threats while maintaining operations elsewhere provides both convenience and cost-savings to passengers and airlines.
Had today’s incident and evacuation taken place in a “single terminal KCI” thousands of passengers would have been disrupted at a cost to them and the airlines of millions of dollars.
Somehow, I don’t think that was mentioned to our new City Council members during their tour today.