KCI task force plans to engage its own expert consultant

11/19/2013 11:35 PM

11/19/2013 11:35 PM

A citizens group that has spent months reviewing Kansas City’s proposal for a new airport terminal plans to engage its own expert consultant.

The KCI Terminal Advisory Group on Tuesday recommended using New York-based Frasca Associates as the consultant to help the citizens task force with its recommendation.

Task force co-chairman Dave Fowler said Frasca Associates was the lone respondent to the city’s request for proposals, but he was pleased that the company is a reputable, knowledgeable firm with expertise in the financing, development and management of airport facilities. Fowler said the contract is expected to cost about $100,000, with the money coming from the city manager’s budget.

The task force has been meeting since June to consider the Kansas City Aviation Department’s proposal to convert KCI from its existing three-terminal configuration to a one-terminal airport. Because that proposal was so unpopular with the public, Mayor Sly James appointed the citizens task force to recommend the best possible airport to serve the region now and for future generations.

The group has spent months learning about the existing airport’s management, its finances and the challenges posed by an aging 40-year-old facility. Group members want to preserve KCI’s convenience while also ensuring the airport can adapt to future demands for security changes, airline mergers and other challenges.

Fowler said Frasca Associates has not done work for KCI in the past and could provide an independent analysis of the city’s proposal for a new airport terminal.

“They will be objective. They will represent us,” Fowler said.

The firm could also evaluate recommendations from a consultant that KCI’s airlines will hire to determine how the airport can meet their future needs.

The citizens panel has been meeting at City Hall at 7:30 a.m. every other Tuesday. Its agendas and other documents and video presentations are available at

www.kcmo.org

, with a link on the left side of the city’s main Web page.

Between December and February, the task force expects to hear directly from the airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration and other KCI stakeholders. It expects to issue its final report next April.

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