A selection committee that is reviewing new terminal proposals for Kansas City International Airport met Friday but made no decision, and the timing of a recommendation remains uncertain.
“The reality is, we’ve still got a lot more work to get done,” said City Councilman Jermaine Reed, one member of the selection committee. “Our goal of course is to get this right, and there’s no rush in terms of getting it right.”
The committee is weighing proposals from four engineering and financing teams: groups led by Burns & McDonnell, AECOM, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, and Jones Lang LaSalle. The four competitors are vying to win the contract to build and finance a new single-terminal airport facility that is estimated to cost about $1 billion.
The selection committee consists of Reed and City Councilwoman Jolie Justus, plus City Manager Troy Schulte, Kansas City Aviation Director Pat Klein, KCI engineer Phil Muncy and Aviation Chief Financial Officer John Green. It is assisted by airline representatives, airport consultants, a team of lawyers, and financial and technical aviation experts. They are evaluating the proposers for qualifications, project approach including the design of a new building, and financing.
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The committee is supposed to recommend a winner for the full City Council to contemplate.
But Justus said they are still trying to make an “apples to apples” comparison of the financial numbers from the four teams, and that complex financial analysis isn’t done. They hope to at least update the council at next Tuesday’s work session. She wasn’t certain when the selection committee would deliberate again.
The selection process comes as the City Council is also trying to come up with ballot language to seek voter approval Nov. 7 to proceed with building a new KCI single terminal to replace the existing horseshoe buildings. The council is under pressure to approve ballot language by Aug. 24, its last regular meeting to meet the ballot language deadline for a November election.
That ballot language doesn’t need to specify the a winning team, and Justus and Reed said they didn’t know whether they would have a recommendation before Thursday’s ballot discussion.