Kansas City officials announced the new $1.5 billion Kansas City International Airport terminal will open three days of ahead of schedule — and the decision was strategic.

The terminal will open the morning of Feb. 28, ahead of the March 3 date that officials began promoting in 2020.

Airport officials had been targeting the February day since the summer, said Justin Meyer, deputy director of aviation, marketing and air service development for the Kansas City Aviation Department.

That date, a Tuesday, typically has 30% less air travel than Friday, when March 3 falls, or the weekend.

Switching over operations on a slower day saves the airlines money. Some airlines reduced their flight schedules for Feb. 28, which cuts back on the number of jets that need to be moved overnight from the old terminals to the new one, Meyer said in an email.

“The revenue loss (to the airlines) of making those flight reductions is minimized on a Tuesday,” Meyer said.

The airport also wanted to be up and running before the peak arrival and departure times for the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament, which will happen March 8-11 in Downtown.

Read more in the Kansas City Business Journal.