Kansas City needs a new airport terminal. And guess what! You can help make that happen. All you have to do is vote on November 7th in favor of the new airport.
Here are 10 reasons why you should vote in favor of a new terminal:
1. It will cause an economic boom!
A BILLION DOLLAR construction project is going to create thousands of jobs and a huge economic boom in Kansas City. Further, the proposal includes women- and minority-owned hiring goals and the contractor has a history of providing world class training opportunities to the local businesses which it hires.
Additionally, a modern airport terminal will make us competitive with other large cities. It will help us attract and/or retain tech talent and other high-paying jobs and will help us win RFPs like the current Amazon HQ2 RFP.
2. It will improve flight options
A new terminal will likely improve our flight options and increase our access to nonstop flights. It will also mean that we can finally accommodate a nonstop flight to Europe, which economists have shown will have the same economic benefit as hosting a Super Bowl.
(I agree it would be best to get actual flight commitments from the airlines before building a new terminal, but that isn’t realistic. There is no way they will make those guarantees. But you know what is guaranteed, if we don’t build a new terminal, we won’t get better flight options; our neighboring airports will.)
3. It will have larger gate areas (which will allow for larger flights)
Our current terminals are 75 feet deep (pre- and post-security) and there are not enough seats or power outlets. The post-security area was expanded over the last 15 years to help, but we’ve run out of room.
A new terminal will have significantly more space. This will give people more seating and outlet access and will allow airlines to provide larger flight options in and out of KCI.
4. It will include better amenities post-security
Speaking of more post-security space, have you tried to buy food or use the restroom after going through security? I recently packed five guys around two seats in Pork & Pickle while waiting out a five-hour flight delay.
A new terminal will give us more options, more restaurants, more shopping, more restrooms, etc. This isn’t rocket science!
5. It will have more garage parking (that is future proofed)
The Terminal B garage can hold about 2,000 cars, yet it is almost always full. The new single-terminal garage will hold about 6,500 cars (more than all three of our garages combined). Further, the garages are designed to be future proof. When driverless cars and other transportation options become wide-spread in future years, the garages will be capable of being recommissioned (for example, they can easily be turned into rental car return areas).
6. It will be easier to get in and out
Modern airports split drop off and pick up traffic into different levels and provide a separate area for busses and other vehicles. KCI doesn’t do that. As a result, the roads are a mess with people, drop off cars, pick up cars, private transportation, busses of all kinds, etc.
The new airport will clean this up and make the roads more efficient and less dangerous for everyone on them.
7. It is cheaper than renovating our current terminals
When the airlines and city first looked at our terminals they thought they could just renovate what we already have. They found that it would cost $1.5 billion to do that and that it might not even get us everything we need.
In the process they found that building a new single-terminal (where A is now, which is unused) would be cheaper! This new terminal is only $1 billion, not $1.5 billion. Additionally, building a new terminal will give us better options moving forward.
8. It is paid for by the people that use it, not general tax funds
Guess what? If you don’t use the airport, you won’t pay for it! Airport financing works in such a way that general tax revenue is not used to pay for it. Rather, each passenger pays a small fee each time they travel. In this case, each passenger will pay about $3 to $4 more per flight.
Further, since over 80% of KCI passengers live outside of Kansas City, our new airport will be primarily paid for by “out of towners.” Remember the economic boom I referenced above? It will be financed primarily by people outside of Kansas City. There are not many opportunities like this!
9. It will make security lines more consistent
A common argument against a new terminal is that our current terminals are “so efficient and convenient.” Yes, there are some times when you can get through security in under five minutes. Unfortunately, there other times where lines are 40+ minutes, especially at the Southwest gates.
Researchers have found that one security line is faster and more efficient than multiple security lines. (And don’t compare a new KCI terminal to Atlanta or Chicago or another large city. Those airports accommodate far more passengers than KCI does. Just because they may have long lines doesn’t mean that we will too.)
10. It will improve baggage claims
The airlines hate our baggage claim equipment. It breaks down and when it does, it is really hard to move the bags and passengers to a different baggage claim area. A new terminal can fix this.