KCI construction project will now feature 39 gates

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Still months before ground will be broken for the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport, changes are being made to the project.

In a one-week span, two different meetings were held regarding the project at City Hall in downtown Kansas City. During the council meeting on April 12, the airlines told the city they would expand from 35 gates to 39 gates.

The original plan for the terminal was based on traffic in 2014 but in recent years the growth has increased significantly. Four new airlines have been added at KCI and travel is up nearly 3.9 percent since 2014.

 CODY THORN/Citizen photo Kansas City council member and airport committee vice chairman Dan Fowler listens during an airport committee meeting on Thursday, April 19 at city hall. Fowler represents the second district, which includes Platte County.

CODY THORN/Citizen photo
Kansas City council member and airport committee vice chairman Dan Fowler listens during an airport committee meeting on Thursday, April 19 at city hall. Fowler represents the second district, which includes Platte County.

The cost for the additional gates will be covered by the airlines, not the taxpayers. The change means the financial agreement currently in the works up will be delayed up to 60 days.

The initial plan coming out of the February council meeting where the vote for a new terminal passed was in the fall.

During the airport committee meeting on Thursday, April 19, various people tied to the project discussed a variety of issues.

The design update discussed the 39 gates and the plan for a 42-gate concept as well as a possible 50 gate setup in the future.

Edgemoor revealed its team members, 26 Kansas City-based businesses, including 21 certified minority-and-women-owned firms — a key point during talks between the council and Edgemoor.

The first two contracts awarded to Kansas City-based teams went to U.S. Engineering for mechanical services and Capital Electric for electrical services. There mechanical/electric teams have 12 certified firms and an open house on Thursday, April 26, will be held to add additional firms.

Other contracts that have been given out include the conduit bond issuer (Economic Development Corporation), bond counsel (Kutak Rock), trustee (BOK Financial), bond underwriter/senior manager (MorganStanley) and disclosure counsel (LewisRice). The bond underwriter had the most proposals with 26, which were dwindled down to seven and then the final three interviewed.

Paslay Management Group was selected by the aviation department to assist with construction management and inspection, design criteria, program controls and management and operational readiness and transition.

Other notes

The community betterment agreement has been shared to airlines, but will need approval by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The parking garage addition will be able to hold 6,500 cars.

Reimbursement for Edgemoor so far has been $5.5 million, below the $6.9 budgeted.

Soil samples have been tested with 27 samples completed. There have been 50 samples completed in the geo-probe sampling.

Starting next week the utility relocation will start and the following week financial discussions including airline use and lease negotiations will start.

The final price tag for the airport should be known in late October or early November.

The signing power of the city manager changed a bit in the April 19 meeting. Officials can’t sign construction contracts for more than $1 million, down from $1.3M. Staff can still approve non-construction contracts up to $400,000.

Councilman Quinton Lucas proposed an ordinance that requires all consulting and other personal service contracts more than $50,000 receive council approval. That drew scrutiny after a study done on a downtown stadium.

The next airport committee meeting is May 17.