Today, the 24-member Airport Terminal Advisory Group ended its work with a press conference with Mayor James where the group answered the two questions posed by the Mayor a year ago:
1. Is KCI, as it is configured currently, the best airport for residents and visitors to Kansas City?
2. If it is not, what are the options for an airport that will serve the region for future generations?
The group determined that the current configuration does not best serve the residents and visitors of Kansas City. Furthermore, the group divided the potential options into three alternatives:
Alternative One: Expand and repurpose existing separate terminals with each terminal converted to a secure space with centralized processing and security checkpoints. (Each terminal remains separate from any other terminal requiring bus transportation between terminals and security re-entry from one terminal to the next.)
Alternative Two: Construct a new centralizing structure connecting the separate terminals and repurpose existing terminals such that the entire terminal complex is connected secure space. (Each of two or three terminals are connected for security purposes with some type of people mover to expedite moving within the terminals.)
Alternative Three: Construct a new terminal replacing and eliminating the three separate terminals.
Ultimately, the group recommended alternative three.
“Southwest Airlines, as the representative of all the airlines serving MCI, acknowledges the hard work of the advisory committee. We pledge to work in good faith with Mayor James, the City Council, and the city aviation staff on a solution that best meets the needs of the passengers and the airlines,” said Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President Ron Ricks.
Future decisions on the airport will take place following a comprehensive and independent engineering and design study, implementation of the process defined in the airline lease agreement, and Council deliberations. Documents and footage related to the work of the Airport Terminal Advisory group can be found at: http://kcmo.gov/airportterminaladvisorygroup/. Handouts distributed at today’s press conference detailing the recommendation are below.