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KCI Taskforce Narrows Choices

Kansas City Aviation Department

A citizen taskforce soon could make a recommendation for the future of Kansas City International Airport. 

After nearly a year of work, the group has narrowed the many possible options down to three — renovating the existing terminals and building new screening areas and parking facilities, revamping two terminals and connecting them with a central building, or constructing a new terminal. 

Architect Bob Berkebile helped draw up plans for KCI more than four decades ago. He now co-chairs the advisory group.

Interview highlights

On the possibility of no major changes at KCI:

"We know that if the decision is to stay with the terminals we have and make no major changes, we still need to invest a number approaching a half billion dollars to continue to operate what we have without significant changes just doing the infrastructure upgrades. When we looked at it relative to the deficiencies we are trying to address, which we had reduced to 10 deficiencies, we found that keeping what we had even if we invested that amount of money only satisfied 1 ½ of the 10, and so we identified that but we chose not to make it one of the three."

On the toughest task for the committee:

"I think the overriding issue for all of us has been the complexity. There are a lot of moving parts in the operation of the airport. And as a direct result, our group spent a lot of time identifying all the key stakeholders, and they are very diverse, and what we are now calling key performance indicators, which are approximately 23 criteria these have come from all of our research and listening and input from the larger community. They fall into the categories of affordability; convenience, as you know, is a very dear issue for most of the members of our community; adaptability and flexibility; constructability is a big factor because it relates to cost and convenience during the upgrades whatever they turn out to be; and finally impact on the favorable airport user experience and impression."

The role of the final report:

"Our hope is to steer the process in a direction and indicate in terms of the key performance indicators that we have created.  That it suggests a particular direction about configuration. But we believe that we don’t have enough cost information and other detailed information to identify a specific solution. We think we can point them in a certain direction and we think we can give them a measuring system by which we think   define success for us. We think we can give them a kind of a roadmap and process that might get them there more efficiently and more successfully than others."

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