Final decision: Kansas City leaders choose 1 company’s plan to rebuild KCI airport

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The KCI Selection Committee, in charge of researching and choosing a company to rebuild KCI, has made its decision about the future of Kansas City’s airport. At noon on Wednesday, the committee presented its decision to the rest of the city council and is now ready to announce to the public the decision they hope voters will ultimately approve.

The news conference is tentatively scheduled to start at approximately 1:30 p.m. Watch in the live player above for the committee’s recommendation or click here to open.

A city contract to build a new airport terminal is expected to be valued at about $1-billion. Competition to get that lucrative deal has become fierce.

Burns and McDonnell was the first company to submit a bid and proposal for the airport project. Supporters of their proposal touted that it would cost no taxpayer money and would be privately-funded by the engineering firm. In the spring, Mayor Sly James opened the bidding process to other companies after the city council received a letter from Los Angeles-based airport engineering firm AECOM that it wanted in on the opportunity.

Additionally, two other companies, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate and BlueScope Construction submitted proposals by the deadline.

Chris Hernandez, the city’s communication director, said the following about the committee’s choice:

“Selection committee members are recommending the best overall proposer due to its experience with high-profile airport terminals project nationwide, its collaborative approach to the design process, and a plan that would deliver the terminal at the best price.
The recommended proposal is committed to creating a terminal that improves on KCI’s convenience for travelers and meets the City’s strong requirements for local, small and minority-business involvement.”

The selection committee is made up of six voting members including:
• Troy Schulte, City Manager
• Jolie Justus, City Council, Airport Committee Chairperson
• Jermaine Reed, City Council, Transportation & Infrastructure Chairperson
• Pat Klein, Aviation Director
• John Green, Aviation Department, Chief Financial Officer
• Phil Muncy, Deputy Director of Aviation for Planning and Engineering

Two weeks ago, Jolie Justus, the city councilwoman who chairs the airport selection committee released the final draft of the ballot question voters will likely see in November.

Shall the City of Kansas City be authorized to construct a new passenger terminal at Kansas City International Airport and demolish existing terminals as necessary, with all costs paid solely from the revenues derived by the City from the operation of its airports and related facilities, and without the issuance of general airport revenue bonds unless such general airport revenue bonds have received prior voter approval?

Jermaine Reed, city councilman representing the 3rd district, is among the committee-members. He said the committee “completed a copious review” of all four of the proposals which also included consultations with financial advisers, legal team, and airline partners to consider their points of view.

The KCI Selection Committee reconvened at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall for final deliberations then at 12:00 p.m., they debriefed the full city council during a special session. Both were closed to the public. Originally, the committee planned to make the public announcement on its final recommendation at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, but moved up that timeline to Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.