KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Word that the city and airlines plan to take "a second look" at the scope of plans for a new airport is raising new questions about the project, its cost and if the airlines are on board.
Two weeks ago, we heard the airlines disagreed on a $20 million baggage system.
On Tuesday, the Kansas City Mayor Sky James put out a statement saying the airlines hired an independent auditor to take another look at the overall project.
James met with seven of the eight airlines on Tuesday to hash out details of the Kansas City International Airport project.
There is a major new hurdle for the Kansas City International Airport plans.
Councilwoman Jolie Justus is the Airport Committee chair.
“He was able to ask each of them what are your issues related to this and what he heard from two of the airlines, Spirit and Allegiant that they do have a problem with the overall cost without question they said it very clearly," Justus said.
She says the airlines want to take a second look at the overall project, independent from the city’s assessment.
The smaller airlines want to make sure they are paying their fair share.
“When we got to $1.64 billion, the aviation department and Edgemoor asked the airlines what else would you cut out to lower the price tag, and no one’s willing to say what they’d cut out," Justus said.
Justus says they don’t need Spirit and Allegiant’s approval to move forward but they would like them to be a part of the project.
A few weeks ago, Edgemoor said the project was about six weeks behind and travelers hope this doesn’t delay the January 2023 open date.
“I hope it does hurry up it gets me more options," traveler Maddy Apley said.
“It seems to have come out of the blue to me, maybe not other people but any delay is not going to be good," traveler John Justus said.
Right now, the KCI project is coming in at about $1.9 billion dollars, and $300 million of that is financing.
If airlines want to change the scope of the project after the assessment, Edgemoor, the airport’s developer, says they would be willing to adjust if that’s what the aviation department and airlines want.
The mayor says he’ll share more information sometime in January.
The big question now is does that change the timeline of the project.
“At this point, I would say no. Obviously, with the environmental report comes back in mid-to-late December, as we expected, we have the holidays, so we were likely going to be starting demolition of terminal a in early January. So, we’re still on track for where we said we were a couple weeks ago," Edgemoor Managing Director Geoffrey Stricker said.
Justus says the airline committee is supposed to meet Thursday morning and will discuss this in depth.
The city has stressed that the airlines are paying for the new airport. But some are wondering why the federal government doesn't pitch in.
In June, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded $677 million for airport projects. That may sound like a lot, but it was divided between more than 200 airports.
More than $14 million went to projects in Missouri, and $765,000 of that to the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport.
Projects in Kansas received nearly $16 million with $4.4 million of that going to the new airport in Wichita.