South KC Chamber Endorses Single Terminal Airport

17 Jul 2017 9:46 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

Like many Kansas City residents, the members of the South KC Chamber Board have lived in Kansas City for many years and we have enjoyed the unique design of Kansas City's airport. However, we recognize the air travel market has changed dramatically since the airport was built and the South KC Chamber fully supports plans to create a single terminal facility. We believe this is an excellent investment in Kansas City’s future.

We polled our members and the overwhelming response was in support of the single terminal concept. Here are some of the reasons and concerns about the single terminal plan that were shared with us:

We Want A Convenient Airport! One of the measurements that attracted people to the current design when it was built was "steps to the gate." In 1972, KCI rated very well in this regard. However, in today's travel environment, the convenience has been reduced to "steps to the ticket counter."

Once you get done with the ticket counter you have to walk around the circle to get to security. Once inside security, you have to walk around the circle again to get to your gate. Once you arrive at the gate you are confronted with limited seating, limited restrooms, and limited amenities.

Those of us who travel regularly (or who have employees or family members who travel regularly) don't consider the current design to be convenient at all. The key element of modern airport convenience is recognizing that the vast majority of time spent by a traveler is past the security checkpoints, not outside of them. Convenience should focus on getting through the security process efficiently and then provide a comfortable and efficient environment after security. The single terminal design does this.

We don't want to be like O'Hare. This is a legitimate issue as nobody wants to have the crowds, lines, and chaos of the larger airports like O'Hare. However, the crowds, lines, and chaos come from the massive volume of travelers in Chicago, not from the design of the airport.

Rather than comparing our situation to Chicago or Atlanta, we should look at similarly sized cities like Indianapolis and Albuquerque. The single terminal airports in those cities work very well and don't have the long lines and waits of O'Hare or Atlanta.

We don't want the taxpayers of Kansas City to get stuck with the bill if there are cost overruns. Another legitimate question and we had the same concern. In the case of the airport, there are legal barriers between general operating funds available for the City Council and the funds from user fees that are used for the airport. Even if the politicians forget to keep their promises, the financial structure ensures that cost overruns will be funded from airport user fees, not general city taxes.

Like everyone else in Kansas City, South KC residents and businesses eagerly await the results of the City Council's process to determine a specific financing and development package to put on the ballot for voters to consider. Regardless of the specifics, the South KC Chamber strongly believes the single terminal airport concept is the right plan for Kansas City.

Rick Chambers, President, RDC Solutions,
Chairman of the Board, South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

South KC Chamber of Commerce

406 E. Bannister Road, Suite F
Kansas City, MO 64131-3028

Phone: (816) 761-7660
Fax: (816) 761-7340





South Kansas City is one of the fastest growing areas in the KCMO metropolitan area. Millions of investment dollars are being spent in this region, which makes it a prime location for businesses to grow and prosper. 

The South KC Chamber is dedicated to working with KCMO's city leadership, our business members, and local community organizations to create a positive, growth-oriented business environment in South Kansas City. We would love to support your company's growth too! 


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