Commission to study the future of KCI

Bob Berkebile will co-chair the citizen commission studying the future of Kansas City International Airport.

Mayor Sly James has announced appointments to a 24-member citizen commission to study the future of KCI.

Its mission is to answer two questions and make recommendations, he said.

The first question is whether KCI, with its three terminals, is the best airport for residents and visitors.

And if not, what are the options for an airport that will serve the region for future generations.

The airport has become a hot political topic since the city council’s recent vote to proceed with planning to replace the three-terminal configuration with a single terminal.

Consultants say the current terminals are obsolete, inefficient  and cannot be upgraded.

Many citizens say they like KCI for easy access and other reasons and there is no need to spend an estimated $1.2 billion to replace it.

James said, “Whatever our final decision on the airport, it needs to be thoughtful, to be forward looking and well reasoned.”

Not everyone will agree with whatever choice, he said, “but at least everyone will understand what we are doing and why.”

He is asking the commission, made up of volunteers from the metropolitan area, to have a report by year’s end but it is not bound by that timeline, James said.

“We’re much more interested in getting it done right than in getting it done fast,” he said.

Co-chairs of the commission are Bob Berkebile, a principal at BNIM and an architecture and planning expert, and David Fowler, a retired business executive from KPMG and chairman of the American Royal.

Fowler said, “We intend to leave no stone unturned in our information gathering.; We’re going to be very objective.”

Comments are closed.