KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Starting Monday, KCI will become another step closer to opening a new terminal.
The city broke ground at 2 p.m. at the former Terminal A.
Hundreds of Kansas City residents attended the ceremony to help celebrate the start of the construction phase of a $1.5B singe terminal. Officials said the terminal will be paid for using 100% of tax-exempt debt.
“On behalf of the entire airline community, we are excited to be part of this journey and celebrate such an incredible milestone for the city,” said Kyle O’Neal, who is the Senior Regional Leader of Airport Affairs at Southwest Airlines. “The new terminal will support more efficient airline operations and allow airport users to enjoy the convenience of modern air travel in a facility with updated technology and amenities, close parking, spacious gate areas, and ample food and beverage options.”
The new single-terminal airport will have 39 gates with the ability to expand to 50 gates, and span just over a million square feet. There will be more shops and restaurants and a brand-new parking garage with 6,3000 spaces for parking right across from the terminal.
According to the aviation department, the new terminal will create up to 5,000 construction-related jobs.
Reginald Thomas is the president of a local labor union. He said his team does demolition work, landscaping and other types of work. He said working on this project gives minorities a start in the construction industry.
“We’re really eager to get started on it after many many years of negotiating, this is going to have a great opportunity to put a lot of men and women into the construction industry and also a great opportunity for contractors to also work on a job of this magnitude,” said Thomas.
Thomas said every trade has an apprenticeship program.
Some frequent flyers have mixed feelings about it.
“I think we have a really good airport now. It’s easy to get around in, and I’m worried that it’ll be a lot more complicated when the new airport comes along. That’s my fear,” Terri Cole said.
“I think it’ll be more convenient. I think it needs it. There’s a lot of deterioration here. I worked on the original phase of the remodels and it was a facelift back then. I think Kansas City really needs a nice, new single terminal,” David Gutierrez said.
When the new airport is complete in 2023, it will replace the current airport which opened in 1972.