Get ready for two more years of planning — and bickering over — the future of Kansas City International Airport.
On Thursday the City Council approved a lease agreement with airlines that use KCI. Part of the pact says Aviation Department officials and the airlines will collaborate on what to do about the aging terminals.
Keeping the status quo should not be a top option. Making major upgrades to existing terminals or building a single new terminal deserve far more attention.
It’s disappointing that Aviation Director Mark VanLoh failed to provide the leadership that would have put this kind of cooperative agreement together several years ago. Instead, he jumped out front with his outspoken desire for a new terminal.
In early 2013, as City Council members were getting behind VanLoh’s idea, an outcry from citizens stopped the project at City Hall.
Mayor Sly James correctly slowed everything down and appointed a citizens group to review the airport’s future.
That panel’s essential work needs to continue. Its final report, expected in April, could give some guidance to city leaders and the airlines.
Kansas City’s aviation officials should make sure the needs of airlines serving KCI are taken into account — but not necessarily blindly followed. Ultimately city officials and then voters will decide whether the final proposal gets built.