Voters say ‘yes’ to new KCI, now what?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas city is getting a new airport. Voters overwhelmingly approved scrapping the old three horseshoe design in favor of a brand new single terminal.

FOX 4's Matt Stewart found while many travelers will miss the convenience and simplicity of the current KCI, they are excited to move forward with a new airport.

"I mean, c'mon. This airport is older than me."

Jeffrey Dupree of Gardner understands the need for a new airport. KCI is 45 years old and quickly falling apart. For years, city leaders have pushed to build a new airport, to no avail. But now, after an intense six-month campaign to convince voters, Kansas City residents agreed to let the city build a new single terminal airport.

"I'm just glad we're going to have the opportunity to have bigger planes and more routes through Kansas City. Less connecting flights. More nonstops. I think it will make travel, and especially business travel, much easier," Leawood resident Helene Slutsky said.

The price tag? Around $1 billion, paid for by the airlines and passengers through higher ticket prices and parking fees.

Engineers created renderings of what it could look like. The plan is to build it where the now defunct Terminal A sits so flights can still go in and out of Terminals B and C during construction.

The main concern for most is convenience. Flyers love the ease of getting in and out of KCI and hope Edgemoor -- the contractor out of Maryland chosen for this project -- keeps that in mind.

"I will miss some of the convenience. I am a pretty frequent traveler and I like being able to just run right in here really easily," Leawood resident Rod Crawford said.

"I love that it's so easy to get in and out but if you are stuck here it's not easy to get food, if you have a delayed flight at night, everything is shut down," Leawood resident Jodi Kaplan said.

"I can park right outside and come right in. That's the convenience of this airport but if you're not moving forward, you're moving backward. So it's a good thing because you're moving forward," Gardner resident Jeffrey Dupree said.

There's a lot to be done in a short amount of time. First things first, Edgemoor needs to sign a contract with the city to take over this project.

City leaders want Edgemoor to hire local as well as contract with women and minority-owned businesses.

Over the next few weeks, Edgemoor plans to host public meetings across the city to allow residents the chance to tell them what they want out of their new airport, new amenities and conveniences that are important to them, such as more restaurants and bathrooms, and parking close to their gate.

Then they will hire the engineering firm to design the airport with hopes of breaking ground next summer.

Construction will go on for about three to four years. The goal is to have it up and running by 2021.

City leaders tell us if the vote had failed, they really had no plan B.

The airlines told them early on they would not help pay for renovations to KCI. The airlines wanted a new terminal, and the reasoning is because security was too spread out, the airlines wanted more space to bring in more planes.

Airport officials have been saying for years that the buildings were costly to maintain.

KCI was built in 1972. There were some who thought renovations would be better to preserve the three horseshoe structure but again, if the airlines refused to pay for it, then the city would've most likely had to cover the brunt of that cost.

Reports showed renovating it would cost about the same as building new. So in the end, the voters chose to build new.

New KCI proposal-- designs by Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill (SOM)

New KCI proposal-- designs by Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill (SOM)

New KCI proposal-- designs by Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill (SOM)

New KCI proposal-- designs by Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill (SOM)

New KCI proposal-- designs by Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill (SOM)