Kansas City International Airport advisory group takes public comment on future changes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - About a dozen residents shared their thoughts on the future of the Kansas City International Airport Tuesday morning with the airport advisory group at City Hall.

For years, the idea of changing KCI into an one-terminal system has been floating around, and while any decision is still months away, the mayor-appointed advisory group is making sure the public has a chance to join the conversation.

The first public meeting on Dec. 3 was cut short by a bomb threat, which was later determined to be false.  Before the meeting ended, some residents told the committee they don't want to see any changes made to the airport because they enjoyed the convenience of the current setup and say the estimated project cost of $1.2 billion could be better spent elsewhere.

During Tuesday's meeting, Jim Fitzpatrick said the current airport is out-dated and needs a serious upgrade.

"More airports are catering to the needs of people, shopping and restaurants," Fitzpatrick said. "It's really a wasteland up there as far as that is concerned."

Others feel the airport should be remodeled instead of replaced.

"I suggested moving security out of the terminals into the area where the center garages are," Roger Dutton said. "That way the terminals would then become a secured area and be similar to the way the airport was originally designed."

During previous meetings, city leaders said funding for the project would likely come from federal bonds and airline fees, but if the project were to use tax dollars, many residents want to see the project go to a city-wide vote.

Another public meeting with the advisory group and representatives from the airlines is scheduled for Jan. 14 at 7:30 a.m.

Additional evening town hall public meetings are expected to start in early February.

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