Build new airport, study group recommends

airport advisory 2

The mayor’s KCI advisory group today recommended building a new single-terminal airport.

Mayor Sly James praised the 24-member group for a year of work. He also said their recommendation will play into what is likely to be a planning process lasting up to 18 months.

The city council will consider the matter and enter into discussions with airline officials about how to go forward, he said.

The mayor formed the study group after loud and widespread opposition developed to a city plan to build a new single terminal airport for up to $1.2 billion.

The advisory group considered three options: keep KCI largely as it is with some expensive upgrades, or a major renovation and expansion with a central processing building linking the terminals, or a modern new terminal.

In the end, 19 group members voted for a new terminal.

James said today, “It’s striking that the do-nothing option did not prevail.”

He noted that the study made it clear that money for work on the airport comes from the airport and must be spent on it.

But he also said voters would get a say on major airport change.

Bob Berkebile, a co-chair of the group who was involved in designing KCI, said, “The terminals are now 42 years old and are showing signs of wear and tear.”

It is not possible to expand them, he said, and multiple terminals are often inefficient and confusing.

David Fowler, the other co-chair, said KCI scored high on convenience but some new single terminal airports scored even higher.

The group will now prepare an executive report with details, data and suggestions, he said.

Airline officials, who have agreed to work with the city for up to two years on KCI’s future, told the study group that they were leery of building an expensive new airport.

But Southwest Airlines, which represents all the KCI airlines, today issued a press release through the mayor’s office.

In it, Southwest Vice President Ron Ricks states: “We pledge to work in good faith with Mayor Sly James, the City Council, and the city aviation staff on a solution that best meets the needs of the passengers and airlines.”

Documents, data and video footage of the advisory group work 


  1. Richard Penta says:

    The time is now for KCI to mo e forward with a new GREEN AIRPORT

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