Kansas City metro leaders meet in Dallas for research on KCI air - KCTV5

Kansas City metro leaders meet in Dallas for research on KCI airport plans

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Over 100 city leaders returned from Dallas on Tuesday. The trip was used to conduct research for the future of KCI. (KCTV5) Over 100 city leaders returned from Dallas on Tuesday. The trip was used to conduct research for the future of KCI. (KCTV5)
Over 100 city leaders returned from Dallas on Tuesday. The trip was used to conduct research for the future of KCI. (KCTV5) Over 100 city leaders returned from Dallas on Tuesday. The trip was used to conduct research for the future of KCI. (KCTV5)
Over 100 city leaders returned from Dallas on Tuesday. The trip was used to conduct research for the future of KCI. (KCTV5) Over 100 city leaders returned from Dallas on Tuesday. The trip was used to conduct research for the future of KCI. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

While Kansas City put on hold plans for an anticipated vote to rebuild Kansas City International Airport back in May, KCTV5 has discovered that talks of expansion are far from grounded. 

Over 100 city leaders returned from Dallas on Tuesday. The trip was used to conduct research for the future of KCI. 

It's the second trip to Dallas in just over five months. 

Kansas City Mayor Sly James said accepting a $1.25-billion offer to rebuild KCI is something Kansas City needs to do. 

"I recognize that everybody likes the convenience of hopping out of their car and jumping into the security line, but airports need to address a lot more issues than that," James said. 

Last May, the city took a poll about the issue. 

The city polled 800 people of the nearly 500,000 who live in Kansas City, asking them if they are in favor or against a new single terminal. More than half of those people were against creating a new KCI.

The airlines said they would only bankroll construction under the stipulation that Kansas City would vote or against construction this past August.

When the plan was pulled off the table, the Show-Me Institute said the city made the right decision. 

"Kansas Citians were right to be skeptical, especially since the airport we have now is seen as very convenient and has been attracting new flights and airlines," the institute said in a statement. "In the end, City officials and airlines could not provide enough justification to take on this risk. We commend city leadership for recognizing this and moving on to issues that require their undivided attention this year."

However, James said on Tuesday airport renovation is more than just convenience. 

"We need to be able to look at this more objectively than just convenience," James said. "There's a lot more to a billion dollar asset than this."

While the mayor was in Dallas, other leaders were at an annual airline meeting in Canada. 

Kansas City councilwoman Jolie Justus was one of them. 

"We need to do something to modernize KCI," she said. "It is past its useful life, it’s not meeting the customers' needs, and it's not meeting the airlines' needs."

Justus said the soonest a ballot question could appear for Kansas City residents is next August. 

Until then, the city is doing what it can to make sure everyone would vote yes. 

"We are doing all of our due diligence to make sure everyone in the city will be ready to vote yes on this when time comes for the election," she said. 

As city officials continue to research, the issue of airports popped up during Monday's president debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. 

Trump referred to American airports as "third-world" during his remarks. 

City leaders said while Trump exaggerated his claims, they do agree changes need to be made. 

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