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Archive for Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Upgraded KCI terminal to reveal glimpse of airport’s makeover

Area to feature design, security improvements

June 25, 2002

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— Air travelers will soon get their first view of the new-look Kansas City International Airport one terminal of it, anyway.

The renovated segment of Terminal C, scheduled to be completed next month, will be brighter, wider and more modern-looking.

The wood floors, paneled walls and brown band with directional signs are history. The new terminal segment and eventually all of the terminals will have blue terrazzo flooring and lighter-colored walls and ceilings.

Flight and baggage information will be displayed electronically, while other signs will dangle from the ceiling. Travelers waiting to grab luggage will watch advertising display monitors atop baggage carousels.

What may not be as obvious to travelers is the blast-resistant glass and higher security walls separating passenger waiting areas from the visitor concourse, design changes added after Sept. 11. Netting that was put up between the tops of partitions and the ceilings after the terrorist attacks will remain.

Security issues have caused some delays in the first phase of a $218 million renovation project the biggest in the airport's 30-year history that began a year ago. More than two-thirds of Terminals A and B are closed for the improvements.

As work proceeds, airport officials are waiting to learn what measures such as explosives-detection equipment for baggage will be required by the Transportation Security Administration.

Asbestos removal problems also have caused delays.

Plans still call for the overall project to be done by the 2004 target date, airport spokesman Joe McBride said.

More light, space

Travelers will notice major differences in the terminals by summer's end.

Glass entryways are being extended, and more windows are being added to let more sunlight into concourses. Ticket counters will be pushed back to allow more walking space.

Kansas City's jazz and barbecue traditions will be given more display as concessions and retail stores are expanded in all three terminals.

"We want to give visitors an idea of the indigenous foods and products that Kansas City has to offer," McBride said.

The renovated part of Terminal C, which officials said last week would be completed by July 19, will have a Just Off Vine jazz bar with an Arthur Bryant's Barbecue restaurant. The renovated part of Terminal A, which is scheduled for an August completion, will have an Arthur Bryant's, a sports bar, a cinnamon roll shop and a KC Marketplace store.

Terminal B renovations to be finished this fall will include a Boulevard Brew Pub, a Great Steak & Potato restaurant and a PGA Tour Shop selling golf merchandise. Visitors will also be able to reserve tee times at local courses.

All three terminals will have CNBC News stores with monitors providing up-to-date business and financial information.

Airlines relocate

The changes also will be an upgrade for airlines.

Northwest and Continental will occupy the renovated part of Terminal C.

In late summer, US Airways and US Airways Express will move into the renovated area of Terminal A. A new, apron-level departure lounge will accommodate passengers flying on US Airways Express commuter flights.

Delta Airlines is to move into the renovated segment of Terminal B this fall.

The renovated areas will include new skycap bag-checking areas, which allow travelers to drop off their bags curbside.

The renovations also include new heating and cooling systems, new passenger boarding bridges, new offices for the airlines, elevators that carry oversized baggage and defibrillators in the rest rooms.

The defibrillators will only be accessible to emergency workers.

Renovations also will give airlines room to expand and ease traffic congestion.

In future phases, United Airlines will move from Terminal C to Terminal A; American Airlines from Terminal B to Terminal C; and Frontier Airlines from Terminal C to Terminal A.

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