Public gives KCI task force some insights before interruption

12/03/2013 5:05 PM

12/03/2013 6:18 PM

Kansas City’s airport terminal advisory group heard insights Tuesday from consultants and the public before City Hall was evacuated for a bomb threat.

The 7:30 a.m. meeting was the first time the KCI airport study group has heard from its Frasca & Associates consultants, who have advised airports around the country on financing, strategic planning and capital improvements.

It also was a chance for the task force to hear the public’s views on Kansas City International Airport’s future. About 25 people showed up for the early morning meeting, but public testimony was interrupted when City Hall was evacuated at 8:30 a.m., shortly after a bomb threat was called in. City officials said they had no indication of what prompted the bomb threat.

Task force co-chairman Dave Fowler said the public will have ample opportunity to speak and the hearing will be rescheduled soon.

Larry Belinsky and Garfield Eaton, managing directors with Frasca & Associates, agreed KCI’s cost per passenger is currently “very low” compared with most airports. Belinsky said airlines don’t want their business costs to go up, but if facilities are obsolete or very inefficient to operate, the airlines are willing to make changes to retain their customer base.

Task force members said they want help in determining how KCI stacks up with other airports, what will make it a preferred airport for the airlines, how the airport can adapt to changes over the next 20 years and how it can avoid mistakes other newer airports have made.

The few members of the public who spoke before the interruption urged the consultants and task force to maintain what makes Kansas City’s airport’s unique and build on its strengths.

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