Monday, April 22 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-04-23 01:02:57 GMT
The Kansas City Council's transportation committee agreed Thursday that the city should move ahead with building a single terminal airport to serve the area.The full council is expected to take up theMore >
The Kansas City Council's transportation committee agreed Thursday that the city should move ahead with building a single terminal airport to serve the area.More >
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -
Opinions are divided about the potential $1.2 billion price for replacing the current three-terminal configuration at Kansas City International Airport with a single terminal.
Critics of the plan say it's too costly and that many people like the current setup, the Kansas City Star reported.
"I haven't seen anything yet why we need to spend all this money," said Dan Coffey, one of the opponents petitioning to put the plan to a public vote. "I'm not saying we don't need to do something up there. I'm not sure we need to do that."
But backers say the three terminals, which were built in the early 1970s, are hopelessly outdated in terms of security configuration and technology.
Aviation director Mark VanLoh said that if the airport doesn't rebuild, it still needs an estimated $600 million in upgrades and renovations in the next few years. He added the public shouldn't overreact to a planning consultant's preliminary cost estimate.
"We think we're going to build it for less, and in talking with the airlines, they think so, too," VanLoh said.
The preferred choice is to build a new terminal where the existing Terminal A is located. In addition to tearing down Terminal A, Terminal B would be torn down once the new terminal opened. Terminal C would remain, possibly for private offices.
Out of the overall budget, $160 million has been budgeted for improvements to the airfield and de-icer systems. Regardless of whether a new terminal is built, those improvements and others to the existing building would have to be done. One issue is that the terminal foundation walls are bowing and leaking, requiring a costly waterproofing that involves tearing out some roads and utilities to get to the foundations.
If the new terminal proceeds, it would be paid for by the airlines, passengers, parking revenues, concessions, other airport tenants and federal funds — not general taxpayer dollars.
The airlines are watching the terminal discussions closely. Right now, KCI remains one of the lowest-cost airports in the country for airlines, and the carriers would like to keep it that way, said Steve Sisneros, director of airport affairs for Southwest, KCI's biggest carrier. Sisneros said Southwest realizes the existing terminals have security and gate flexibility problems that need to be addressed.
But Southwest also has reservations about the potential cost of a new terminal and how it could be financed.
"We're neutral on this right now," Sisneros said. "The size and cost is a concern."
John Green, chief financial officer for the Kansas City Aviation Department, said his preliminary financial models for a new terminal are conservative and assume only about $30 million in federal grants. But even that amount might be a stretch.
U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat who supports a new airport terminal as an economic engine for Kansas City, acknowledges that "the federal government is broke."
And more than that, Cleaver said the support of U.S. Rep. Sam Graves is crucial because the airport is in Graves' district.
"The only way this is going to have a chance, and it's still not guaranteed, is if Congressman Graves is supporting it," Cleaver said.
And Graves, a Missouri Republican from Tarkio, remains adamantly opposed.
"The fact of the matter is, KCI is very unlikely to get any federal money to redesign the airport," spokesman Chris Averill said.
"It seems logical that improvements can be made to the existing facility . without constructing an entirely new terminal. There are many pressing problems in Kansas City, but building a new airport is not one of them."
Any decision on a new terminal is months away, after a citizens advisory task force finishes its analysis late this year, and any election probably would not come until late 2014 or even later.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Single terminal KCI plan faces sticker stockMore>>
Sunday, July 7 2013 4:24 PM EDT2013-07-07 20:24:14 GMT
Mayor Sly James will announce Tuesday morning the formation of an advisory group to determine the future of the Kansas City International Airport.Airport officials and some council members want to mergeMore >
Mayor Sly James announced Tuesday morning the formation of an advisory group to determine the future of the Kansas City International Airport.More >
Monday, April 21 2014 8:45 AM EDT2014-04-21 12:45:27 GMT
Authorities said a death investigation is underway in a KCK neighborhood.Kansas City, KS, police were called about 12:40 p.m. Sunday to the 700 block of North 70th Terrace.No other details were immediatelyMore >
Authorities said a death investigation is underway in a KCK neighborhood.More >
Sunday, April 20 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-04-20 16:25:32 GMT
Authorities are investigating a convenience store shooting.Raytown police were called to a QuikTrip in the 8700 block of East 63 Street about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after reports that a person that had beenMore >
Authorities are investigating a convenience store shooting.More >
Friday, April 18 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:53:24 GMT
The police department's statements detail their use of GPS tracking, surveillance and the help of tips from the public that led to the eventual arrest of Mohammed Whitaker, the man suspected of being theMore >
Court documents detail how new-age technology, old-fashioned police work and observant eyewitnesses led to the capture of the man that authorities say was responsible for a string of highway shootings that terrorized the area.More >