KANSAS CITY, Mo. — From local restaurants to flooring and inclusivity, plenty will stand out to travelers at Kansas City International Airport’s new terminal.
The contract between Kansas City, Missouri, and the firm building the terminal stipulates construction on the new terminal must be complete by March 3, 2023. The terminal could open sooner or later than that date depending on consultation with airlines and other stakeholders.
Voters in Kansas City, Missouri, approved the new terminal in 2017. One of the first things they’ll notice in the new terminal is a tribute to the old terminal.
“Throughout the whole concourse, basically every place the public walks, you will see terrazzo from end to end,” explained Greg Grazzini, president of Grazzini Brothers and Company.
The floor in the current KCI terminals are also covered in terrazzo, a kind of material made up of chipped marble, quartz, or shells held together and sealed with epoxy. Grazzini Brothers was able to save roughly 40 medallions or mosaics that were embedded in the terrazzo of KCI’s original Terminal A, which crews demolished to build the new single terminal.
“That looks really nice,” Grazzini said. “We’ve already finished probably half of them.”
The food travelers eat will also stand out. In a tribute to Kansas City, many restaurants from the City Market will set up locations in the new terminal. Taste of Brazil will bring its pao queijo (cheese bread) and shredded beef to the terminal. Bloom Baking Company will serve breakfast and dinner alongside sweet treats.
“People are excited to travel again and I think they’re very excited to have a fresh and new twist at the airport,” explained Sarah Darby of the bakery.
Looking to the future, the new terminal hopes to set an example as the most inclusive airport in the world. The city and architects have worked with Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City to incorporate inclusivity into all aspects of the new terminal.
The new terminal will feature changing rooms for adults and children, a barrier-free play zone accessible to children in wheelchairs and walkers, a flight simulator for children to get accustomed to noise and experience of flying before their first flight and a sensory room, where children and adults who are being over-stimulated can relax.
The flight simulator is named after Maddox Truitt. The sensory room is named for Molly Bolton. Both children worked with Variety KC to push for more inclusivity around Kansas City and passed away in 2021.
“All kids need to be a part of the conversation,” explained Deborah Wiebrecht, Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City’s chief inclusion officer. “With the sensory room and flight sensory room, Molly and Maddox will be remembered forever and their legacy is to let other kids always be included.”