KANSAS CITY, Mo. - One day after a landslide election to approve building a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport, the mayor said it is time to reward voters for their faith.
At a news conference Wednesday morning, Kansas City Mayor Sly James called Tuesday’s election result a “resounding vote of confidence.” He said the new terminal should open by the end of 2021.
The mayor has long supported building a new single terminal to replace the existing three horseshoe terminals at KCI. Seventy-five percent of voters sided with him at the polls Tuesday.
“This once again shows what happens when you have an entire group of people, civic, community, business, elected leadership, everybody working hard to push the same rock up the hill,” James explained. “We got up there. We pushed up so well, that now it's going to start rolling downhill.”
To keep momentum rolling, the next step toward building the terminal is to approve a contract with the developer. The city selected Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate from four proposals to build the new terminal.
City Manager Troy Schulte said city council will review a memorandum of understanding between the city and Edgemoor at the council’s November 30 meeting. That document will lay out how both sides will meet workforce goals, benefit the community, and hire Kansas City-based workers.
“It sets the guiding principles that will guide all the other developmental agreements, financial agreements, all of those issues moving forward,” Schulte explained.
Schulte said between now and January, Edgemoor will hold six public meetings, one in each of the city’s six districts. At those meetings, people will be able to give feedback to guide the final designs of the terminal.
Within the next six to nine months, Edgemoor and the city should finish an environmental study of the terminal’s impact on the property.
The city needs to get final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for the new terminal. Schulte said that process can take between six to nine months.
How will this impact day-to-day operations at KCI?
The goal is to break ground on the new terminal in the fall of 2018, according to Schulte. It will take four years to build.
Schulte said crews will construct the terminal on the current site of Terminal A, which is empty. Terminals B and C, which handle all of the airport’s public business, will not be affected by the construction. They should operate as normal over the next four years.
The mayor added construction workers will have a designated area to park and won’t take up spots reserved for flyers.
City Councilman Quinton Lucas added over the next several months, the city needs to deliver what it sold to voters.
“Make sure we uphold all the of the promises we have,” he said.
The mayor and mayor pro tem said the new airport will open doors and keep Kansas City’s momentum moving forward.
“Kansas City wants to be a city that is not in flyover country, it is destination country,” Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner said.
Construction for the terminal will cost $1.3 billion. Fees on airport users and airlines will pay for the project, not tax revenue from the city.