Petition against KCI single terminal invalid

A rendering of the new single airport terminal being discussed for KCI.

An attempt last weekend to launch a petition drive against a new single terminal airport is invalid, officials said today.

A group called Friends of KCI turned in preliminary signatures to start a petition drive but that is not possible at this time, said city spokesman Danny Rotert.

A referendum is aimed at overturning a city ordinance, he said,  but the council’s April 11 vote was just for a resolution. It passed 9-3 and directs the city manager to pursue studies and planning for the single terminal airport and report back.

A preliminary estimate of costs is about $1.2 billion, which opponents say is money that does not need to be spent on the three-terminal airport that is convenient and adequate.

Advocates for the new airport say the money would come from the federal government and taxes and fees on airline customers, not the general public.

They also say that the current 40-year-old airport is obsolete in terms of operations and security and is causing the city to lose flights.

“You have a physical plant today that can’t be expanded and the infrastructure below it and through it can’t be brought up to modern standards,” consultant Mark Perryman recently told the city council.

Councilman John Sharp, who later voted against the resolution, countered, “It’s still an awfully convenient airport –it’s one of the best in the country for that.”

Officials said public hearings and much process lie ahead before the new airport gets final approval.

If it does, there will be many ordinances passed and opponents can file a petition challenge against any of them, Rotert said.

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