KANSAS CITY – A NEW AIRPORT TERMINAL!
Kansas City International Airport – Runway Layout
Some say that an airport is the “Front Door” to a city. Well, if that’s the case, then Kansas City’s front door was beginning to look a bit shabby. What am I talking about? Let me explain.
In 1972 Kansas City opened it’s new airport with a highly advanced design. With three separate and distinct rings of airline gates it allowed for close parking for passengers and it was only a matter of steps from the car to the aircraft gate. Modern and very convenient. That was in 1972.
Kansas City International Airport – Unique 3 Ring Terminal Design
Fast forward 45 years. My-Oh-My, has airline travel changed! Planes are much larger (while seats are much smaller – don’t get me started), more passengers are traveling, and then of course there is the huge security issue which was nowhere to be seen 45 years ago. These changes, as well as others, undermined the desirability of the KCI design. Handling many more passengers and dealing with all the demands of new security measures created huge problems for an airport designed with no central core. The spread out and dispersed design of KCI meant more people and multiple security areas all had to be crammed into small and narrow circular corridors which were never build with these operations in mind. Things really got cramped!
Current KCI Interior
For years Kansas City has struggled, attempting to find solutions to the problems of the airport and it’s outdated design. And, in addition to design issues, the KC airport was aging. It was costing big dollars to maintain an old airport – one whose design was flawed for contemporary air travel. Meanwhile other cities moved ahead with modern airport designs.
Kansas City is an outstanding metropolitan area. It has so much to offer – first class shopping, theater, arts, and sports. Truly “top shelf” in so many ways. But quite honestly, Kansas Citiy’s “Front Door” – KCI Airport – was no longer top shelf. It was no longer making a very good impression on new visitors and it was no longer doing a good job of serving the needs of travelers – locals and visitors alike. On several occasions the city made attempts to fix the situation and to get approvals for a new terminal. All failed. Some efforts were made to “upgrade” the existing facility, but the basic design severely limited what was possible. The upgrades helped a bit, but not much. Kansas City needed a new “Front Door.”
Announcement!……….The air traveler’s world is about to change in Kansas City. Kansas City is getting a New Front Door! On November 7, 2017 Kansas City voters overwhelmingly approved building a new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport. Final design details are now in the works.
Artist Rendering of Possible KCI Design
The new terminal project is a major undertaking with anticipated completion in 2021. While there will be some degree of inconvenience to travelers during the construction phase, the difficulties will actually be minimized due to the design of the current airport. At present, KCI has, in reality, 3 circular terminals often referred to as Terminals “A”, “B”, and “C”. Plans call for the new, larger single terminal to be constructed in the area currently occupied by Terminal “A”. Meanwhile, during construction all air operations will be handled out of the existing Terminals “B” and “C”. Sounds like a good plan. Yes, it will take awhile – but Kansas City is now back on track to having a Top Shelf Front Door!
Bottom Line: Congratulations Kansas City – You’re Getting a New Front Door!
Travel To Kansas City ……. And Enjoy The Adventure!
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© 2017, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.