City council approves single-terminal plan for Kansas City International Airport

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The city council in Kansas City voted 9-3 to move forward with a $1.2 billion plan to turn Kansas City International Airport into a single-terminal layout.

Now that the council has passed the resolution, the plan goes to the Federal Aviation Administration for approval.

John Sharp, Scott Taylor and Scott Wagner all voted against the resolution that affirms the council's support of the single terminal plan.

Wagner said he was left unimpressed during a single-terminal presentation last week. He said he needed more solid numbers before giving his approval.

"I will be voting against it today because a case has been presented that is very incomplete, and because it is incomplete, it is very difficult for me to say that we should go and move forward," Wagner said.

Cindy Circo was one of the nine council members to vote in favor of moving forward. She argued that because the terminal would be paid for with federal grants, passenger facility charges and revenue bonds, the city has a lot to do before vetoing the idea.

"We have a lot of work to do to get to the decision that we're actually going to do it. And if we do not do that work and wait for another five years, we're going to be in worse shape than we are today," Circo said.

Mayor Sly James admitted he is not completely sold on the current proposal, but said since Kansas City is not obligated to anything at this point, the process needs to continue.

Airport leaders believe the proposed design will maintain the current convenience of curbside drop-off and pick-up locations, and alleviate security problems.

The airport has no room to add "prescreen" security lines as the design stands now. Airport officials also say the new layout will provide room for up to 30 new gates.

"We're excited about this layout," Aviation Director Mark VanLoh said. "We think we have addressed a lot of the concerns."

Within the last few weeks, a grassroots effort has started up a new website -- SaveKCI.com -- to try and keep the current airport layout. The group claims studies show Kansas City residents overwhelming love the layout as it is.

However, airport leaders say the new layout is necessary.

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