KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Things seem to be running smoothly as Kansas City International prepares to open the new $1.5 billion single terminal Tuesday. But getting this far was a bit of a bumpy ride.

Edgemoor first had to convince the Kansas City public of a new single terminal. For Edgemoor that job largely fell on one man, Geoff Stricker.

Since 2017 Geoff Stricker says he’s taken more flights in and out of Kansas City International Airport than he count. Thursday he boarded a plane out of Terminal B for the last time. He’ll be back next week for the ribbon cutting.

“As the leader of the Edgemoor team I felt personal responsibility to make sure the commitments we were making we were making good on,” Geoff Stricker, Edgemoor senior managing director said.

In early meetings to drum up support for the project before a public vote in November 2017 he says he heard many of the same things about the airport we still heard talking to passengers Thursday.

“I kind of love this airport the old one it’s pretty easy to get in and out,” Suzie Gilbert said.

“There was some doubt in the early days but as we went out and talked to the community and the benefits of a new terminal and what it could mean for economic development for jobs for the MBWE community I think that’s when people started to embrace it,” Stricker said.

Passengers now say they are excited about a 6,100 space parking garage and City Market amenities with more than 80% local brands. Stricker says those were ideas born out of two years worth of community meetings before they ever broke ground in 2019.

“I think what people are seeing when they go through the new terminal next week will be the incorporation of many of the ideas, the fountain, we have the accessibility that people asked for, the wonderful amenities that reflect Kansas City,” Stricker said.

Stricker says he’s proud during the pandemic riddled with supply chain issues they were able to deliver the $1.5 billion project on budget and on time.

Some passengers like Patti O’Neill going through the gates Thursday will return home at an entirely different terminal.

“I hear its really nice and there are supposed to be a lot of local restaurants so I think it will be fun to see it.” she said.

Stricker says he’s happy to see what’s it’s already helped Kansas City land including major events like the NFL Draft and World Cup. Ironically, Kansas City’s initial airport single terminal public discussions began four days after Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was drafted.

“We always said early on KC is a world class city and needed a world class airport,” Stricker said.