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Cost For New KCI Airport Minimal For Travelers, Airport Officials Say

Landrum & Brown
Kansas City Aviation Department

An increase of $3 a day at some airport parking facilities and a modest but unspecified ticket price increase would be the only effect of a new billion-dollar terminal on travel costs. That was the essence of a report aviation officials presented to the Kansas City Council Airport Committee on Tuesday.

Aviation officials presented a financing scenario involving revenue bonds, federal grants and airline participation. 

Their numbers were based on 3 percent inflation, 6 percent interest rates on the bonds and a passenger traffic gradual increase of 40 percent by 2045.

Councilwoman Teresa Loar remained skeptical, confronting airport Marketing Director Justin Meyer on the passenger traffic growth, pointing out that growth has been flat over the past ten years.

“I'd like to have that crystal ball,” Loar remarked, “because I don't know where you come up with these numbers! You say you talked to the airlines and their business is going to increase here 40 percent in Kansas City?”

Meyer responded that the figure represented a 1.9 percent growth per year, and that the airport is currently on track for growth in that range.

The past long-range no-growth trend, he said, were brought on by the end of KCI's status as an airline hub and two major recessions.

The airport delegation said if their calculations are correct and the new terminal can be build for $970 million, cost per passenger for the airlines would increase only a little over $2.00 – from $6.70 to around $9.00.

They stopped short of saying the cost increase to a passenger would be at or be at or below $3.00, though.

Nationally, they said, airport costs and ticket pricing are not directly correlated.

Steve Bell is afternoon news anchor and business news reporter for KCUR.  He may be reached at 816-235-5173 or at steveb@kcur.org

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