Archive for Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Airport renovations may create headaches

January 16, 2001


— Plans for $183 million in renovations to Kansas City International Airport's three terminals could cause delays for passengers.

Work is scheduled to start in April and be completed in phases over the next four years.

The aviation committee in early January discussed the project, which includes renovating departure lounges, ticketing areas and concession areas; replacing the baggage-handling systems; and replacing heating and air conditioning systems.

"It's going to be a long four years for us, but what we will get in the end will be so wonderful that people will be amazed," said Councilwoman Teresa Loar, chairwoman of the Kansas City Council's aviation committee.

Airlines will be relocated so passenger traffic is more evenly distributed. Currently, more than half of KCI's passengers go through Terminal B.

Sections of the three terminals will be shut down during the renovations. At times, the three roadway lanes closest to the terminal section being worked on will be closed.

The city is developing an information campaign for passengers.

Centered on the theme, "KCI: We're jazzin' up the place," the city is planning to use a jazz jingle incorporating the music of Count Basie to play over the airport's public announcement system and in advertising.

A Web site and telephone information line also will be developed, said Tom McKenna, Kansas City's assistant director of aviation-marketing.

KCI spokesman Joe McBride said there will be signs to help direct passengers as well as "cartoons to help lighten the mood."

"We understand construction is no fun, but we'll be remiss if we don't improve," McBride said.

The renovations are being paid for through a bond package approved by voters in 1988. The bonds will be repaid through airline passenger facility charges and other airport revenue.

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