Kansas City, Mo — The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks derailed what was shaping up as a record year for passenger traffic at Kansas City International Airport, airport officials said.
Passenger traffic at KCI was on a record pace for the first eight months of 2001. After Sept. 11, KCI and airports nationwide were closed for two days, demand plummeted and most airlines sharply reduced their flight schedules.
That led to KCI's first significant drop in yearly passenger numbers in a decade.
In 2001, about 11.6 million passengers arrived at and departed from KCI a 2.6 percent decrease from the record 11.9 million who went through the airport in 2000, according to figures from the Kansas City Aviation Department.
"It looked like we would have been at a pace to increase 5 or 6 percent," said Tom McKenna, the Kansas City Aviation Department's marketing director. "But we took a big hit after Sept. 11."
McKenna said shortly before the attacks, the Aviation Department received schedule information for October that listed for the first time in a decade more than 300 daily flights.
"That would have been a real milestone for us," McKenna said. "But it got yanked out from under us."