Kansas City International Airport breaks ground on new terminal

posted on 15th May 2019
Kansas City International Airport breaks ground on new terminal

Kansas City International Airport has begun work on a new passenger terminal that will replace the current facility when it opens to the public in four years’ time

On 25 March, the Kansas City Aviation Department joined with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, major airline customers active at the gateway, developer Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, Clark | Weitz | Clarkson (CWC), and organised labour and business representatives, to celebrate the launch of the construction phase of a $1.5 billion single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

The event included the ceremonial first turning of the dirt on the new facility and the start of demolition activities at the current (closed) Terminal A.

The airport currently has three terminals on site. However, Terminal A was closed a few years ago. That has enabled the airport authority to demolish Terminal A, which in turn allows it to build the new terminal at that location, and then switch over to the new facility when it is ready for passenger traffic. There will be minimal effect on the current operations of the airport during the construction phase, confirms Chris Hernandez, director of city communications at City of Kansas.

Interior demolition operations on the existing, decommissioned Terminal A will begin this spring; structural demolition is expected to begin in mid- to late April.

Covering just over a million square feet, the Kansas City International Airport New Terminal is the largest single infrastructure project in the city’s history. The facility will open with 39 gates and the ability to incorporate up to 50 gates in the future. As well as the 39 new jet bridges that will be built as part of the initial development, a new hydrant fuelling system will be put in place.

The project will also include a 6,300-space parking structure adjacent to the terminal building, a central utility plant, and various other landside and airside improvements; “eGSE” is under consideration as part of the project, the Kansas City Aviation Department says.

Moving ahead

The New Terminal project will be entirely funded using tax-exempt debt – the most cost-efficient approach for the project, the Kansas City Aviation Department asserts. When completed, the new facility will replace the airport’s aging terminals, which date back to 1972.

The need for a new terminal had been discussed in one form or another for many years, Hernandez informs. Various city and community groups had explored the options available. In November 2017, the city put forth the question to residents in a vote, and 76% of voters said ‘yes’ to moving ahead with the project.

Subsequently, the Kansas City Aviation Department and other city staff members carried out the process of putting the project out to bid, selecting a developer and negotiating a development deal that won City Council approval. That all led to the groundbreaking at the end of March.

Pat Klein, Kansas City aviation director, comments: “We will continue to champion the benefits of the new single terminal and how it will be a valued asset to Kansas City.”

Edgemoor has partnered with design-builder CWC to build the New Terminal. The construction joint venture, which is comprised of Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Weitz Company, and Clarkson Construction Company, has already collectively delivered more than 40 aviation projects across the US.

Geoff Stricker, Edgemoor’s managing director, enthuses: “This has been a great partnership with the City and airline partners, and we look forward to building on that to deliver an exceptional new terminal for travellers and the airlines alike.”

Finally, Kyle O’Neal, senior regional leader, airport affairs at airport customer Southwest Airlines observes: “The new terminal will support more efficient airline operations and allow airport users to enjoy the convenience of modern air travel in a facility with updated technology and amenities, close parking, spacious gate areas, and ample food and beverage options.”