KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mayor Sly James announced Tuesday the appointment of 24 people from various parts of the community to make up a task force he has assembled in an effort to decide once and for all what is best for Kansas City's airport.
The mayor seemed to understand the fire in the airport debate and the criticism he's up against.
"This isn't something we're doing for fun," he said. "I'm not asking these people to devote all the time, effort, and energy to do this for fun and games."
Among the appointees is a vocal critic of a single-terminal KCI. In fact, Kevin Koster is so against it, he created a website called "SaveKCI.com".
He believes when the mayor tells him that the mayor and the city council have not yet made up their minds about the airport and will carefullyconsider the task force findings.
"I'm not a politician but the last thing I would want to do is put out a committee that is stacked that everybody could see was stacked. It's clear from me standing here the committee is not stacked," said Koster.
A hundred feet to a gate, easy access to baggage claim and short-security lines are the most appealing aspects of KCI.
"There's very few airports where you're going to get this kind of convenience," said Rich Morgan, a traveler at KCI on Tuesday. "Just pulled up, dropped off my son. He's going to walk into his gate. For those of us who live here, it's an awesome airport."
The mayor said he wants the group to answer two questions:
- Is KCI, as it is configured currently, the best airport for residents and visitors to Kansas City?
- If it is not, what are the options for an airport that will serve the region for future generations?
“This is an ongoing conversation where the safety and satisfaction of Kansas City residents, in addition to those who visit Kansas City, needs to be taken into account,” said Mayor James. “Public input and involvement are not only valuable, they are absolutely essential to ensure KCI is a part of our economic growth now and well into the future.”
The mayor wants the task force to deliver their recommendations by the end of the year.
It's expected that the money to revamp KCI would come mainly from aviation bonds, not from taxpayers.
FOX 4 launched a poll in April, asking if you favor a one-terminal airport Vote below then click to see how others feel about the airport's proposed changes.