KANSAS CITY -- A bi-state citizens advisory committee Wednesday recommended that Kansas City build a new single terminal at KCI Airport.
Many travelers like the current airport configuration for its convenience of getting in and out of the gates. But task force members say a new single terminal won't necessarily sacrifice that convenience.
After nearly a year of study, 19 out of 24 members of the task force voted to build a new single terminal at KCI Airport.
KCI is 42 years old. And the task force chair said many of it's components are outdated. That may explain why the option of keeping the airport much the way it is now received zero votes.
Mayor Sly James says citizens should not believe this recommendation means the city will move forward spending more than $1-billion dollars on a plan originally proposed by the Aviation Department more than a year ago. The mayor says that plan is dead.
James says the council now will use this recommendation and do some fact finding on its own to determine whether to move forward in pursuing a different plan for a new single terminal.
"It's a recommendation that the council will have to consider," James said. "I will tell you the council takes it role as decision maker as opposed to recommendation taker extremely seriously. They may or may not agree with that recommendation. This is going to be to a large extent a decison that council makes and that they are willing to support. I don't have any idea of what that decision will be."
The Aviation Department already has released a statement saying: "The Aviation Department will work with the airlines to develop a sound financial approach that addresses the community's priorities for a single terminal."
Opponents who post on the SaveKCI website say it looks like the city is intent on building a new terminal. The proposal to rehab the current terminals in some fashion received only 5 votes from the advisory committee.
Any proposal to demolish, replace or build new passenger terminals would have to be approved by Kansas City voters thanks to a petition drafted by the Friends of KCI group.