KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The city’s brand new airport terminal has its first big complaint — traffic.
Kansas City International Airport opened its brand new $1.5 billion terminal on Tuesday. An estimated 30,000 passengers use it each day.
Traffic appears to back up while picking them up, according to some drivers. Airport police officers could be seen working that area on Friday.
Russ Steele, who hails from nearby Platte City, wanted to check out the new terminal on Thursday night. He was already there to pickup his wife, but a long line of cars awaited him, as other drivers awaited passengers.
“Traffic was stopped. It was backed up all the way to where the little pond is,” Steele said. “She was departing. I’m afraid she would have missed her flight. We wouldn’t have thought about an hour just to go that last half-mile.”
Kansas City’s Aviation department is aware of the bumper-to-bumper lines. Airport traffic officers want two lines of cars coming into the pickup area. Presently, most drivers seem to hug the right lane, which is closest to the curb. The two lanes on the left are available for passers-through.
Airport spokesperson, Joe McBride, knows everyone is getting adjusted to the new KCI terminal — including airport staffers. However, people parking at the curb are adding to the issue. That area, according to McBride, is meant for quick loading and unloading, not waiting for arrivals.
“If you’re parking at the curb, it slows things down for everybody. If you don’t need to be there, there’s somebody behind you that can’t get up there,” McBride said.
Kansas City Aviation officials recommend drivers who are awaiting arrivals to wait for a call from their passengers in the nearby cell phone lot, which is only a few hundred yards away from the terminal.
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Kansas City Aviation officials say there are no delays in arrivals or departures from the new terminal. Any delays can be found on the airport’s new website.