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Letters to the Editor

Letter: KCI boondoggle

February 8, 2014

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To the editor:

Monday’s editorial, “KCI Costs” was right on target. Statements of those favoring a new single terminal are off base.

They claim business leaders don’t like the present terminals. Business leaders actually fly private jets to the downtown airport. Other frequent-flying business travelers appreciate the extremely short distances between the plane and the curb.

I have passed through over 40 “world class” terminals in recent years and am not impressed by their bombastic architecture and extremely long walks, even with moving sidewalks. Other veteran travelers agree that Kansas City can’t be beat for convenience.

Last month, Kansas City closed terminal one, so only two terminals are now in use. Indianapolis recently splurged on a $1.1 billion terminal and did it draw business? At the end of January they decommissioned one fourth of the check-in counters due to lack of business and airline mergers.

Kansas City mainly needs to cover the bat-cave brown terminal ceilings with sparkly white paint and install a few skylights, then assure free wi-fi for all, to get things into the 21st century. Having express bus service from Kansas City hotels and the downtown airport’s economy lot will be a greater benefit to traveling citizens than a billion-dollar boondoggle.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 months, 1 week ago

Terminal A is closed which enables rehab of Terminal A without interfering with air travel. Then move to B.

No matter what tons of dollars will be spent. There are tons of structures throughout KCMO that are being rehabilitated which are also much older than KCI. New electrical can be accomplished externally meaning no need to go behind walls. New HVAC can also be run externally. New water and sewage lines will be done on the outside.

Considering all of the airport has not been overtaxed to date it seems the current capacity is set for additional capacity.

Sometimes consultants need to be taken lightly.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 months, 1 week ago

There were many factors behind the decision to replace the terminals at MCI. One of them was to avoid spending several hundred million dollars to keep the current terminals usable. Note: Several hundred million dollars is rather close to the billion dollar figure that the letter writer referred to. And even then, MCI would be very much the same, with no improvements possible. Sometimes it's better to start all over than to spend a significant portion of those costs on repairs.

From the 'Kansas City Star':
http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/04/4796936/consultant-on-kci-challenges-airlines.html

"The need for new or renovated terminals often depends on several factors, including the need for additional capacity, customer service enhancements and improvements to the customer experience, new federal regulations, maximizing the utilization or efficiency of existing space or terminal facilities, terminal concession revenue enhancement, or the replacement or improvement of aging infrastructure. In many cases, the need for a new or renovated terminal is attributable to several of these factors rather than just one. At MCI, as a result of its aging facilities and space or systems capacity limitations, many of its existing systems (i.e., electrical systems, water and sewer systems, etc.) have become unreliable and/or lack the redundancy needed in the event that these systems fail. The Airport estimates that several hundred million dollars will be needed over the next few years to rehabilitate aging systems and terminal infrastructure."

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Richard Heckler 2 months, 1 week ago

Excellent comment.

Family members who fly stateside and abroad frequently love the current KCI for its "user friendly" nature. I love the floors at KCI and so do some children.

Graham Kreicker has some excellent suggestions. Now if only the KCMO Mayor and city officials will get on board with Graham.

It's as if they are planning ahead for what? Sooner or later flying will be too expensive for the shrinking middle class and without the middle class air travel will take a substantial hit so best make use of existing resources.

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