Beginning Monday, Kansas City International Airport will provide a cellphone parking lot close to the terminals.
Signs will now direct motorists waiting to pick up passengers to the parking lot adjacent to the KCI Airport Police station at 1 International Square. The location is also right by the 256-foot control tower, which is readily recognizable.
“It’s an added convenience,” said Deputy Aviation Director Ian Redhead.
For the past several years, KCI has directed people waiting for cellphone calls from arriving passengers to park in the long-term Economy Lot A for up to two hours free. They could also park free for two hours in Economy Lots B and C.
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But aviation officials said many people missed signs leading to the cell lot in the Economy Parking area, and tended to park all over the place at the airport. Once motorists were in the terminal complex, it was difficult for traffic control officers to direct them back out to the economy lots.
The new lot is marked by more prominent signs, which people will see on the airport roadway as they approach the terminals. The new cellphone waiting area will be to the left of the roadway.
This will eliminate the need for drivers picking up passengers at the airport to continue circling around the terminal roadways or to try to park illegally at the curb. Airport officials hope this will reduce traffic and curb congestion.
The new cellphone lot has about 35 spaces. There are no restroom or retail facilities, and people are expected to park there for no more than 45 minutes.
If a flight is delayed and people need to wait longer at the airport, the two hours of free parking will still be available in the long-term economy lots.
Until five years ago, KCI was one of the few major airports that lacked a cellphone waiting area. That changed in 2011, when the airport began allowing limited free parking for people waiting to pick up passengers in one of its long-term parking lots.
This new cellphone lot is one of a series of customer improvements planned at KCI. Other enhancements will be better lighting and signage in the airport terminals, better Wi-Fi coverage, more electric outlets, more seats, and roomier gates for American Airlines and some smaller carriers in Terminal C.