KCI plans to close Terminal A

Kansas City International Airport probably will be down to two terminals by the end of the year.

A spokesman for the Kansas City Aviation Department said Friday that KCI plans to close Terminal A and move its operations to Terminal C as a result of the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. The $11 billion merger, made official last month, will turn American into the world’s biggest airline.

“The airlines are consolidating, and we’re consolidating our operations,” said Tom McKenna, the department’s director of marketing.

Terminal A currently houses US Air and United, which merged with Continental Airlines in 2010 and temporarily moved to Terminal A in December while workers fixed the baggage belt systems in Terminal C to accommodate the combined airlines. But United will soon be moving to Terminal C.

“Then that would have left only US Air in Terminal A,” McKenna said. “But two weeks ago, when the announcement about the American and US Air merger came, we said: ‘Well, this is falling into place.’

“Instead of having all this dead space in A and dead space in C, we’ll put all the operations in B and C and we can mothball Terminal A and achieve some cost savings.”

A study is under way that examines the feasibility of building a new, single terminal, which officials say will offer more convenience and efficiency. McKenna said the department plans to present the results of the study to the Kansas City Council on April 4.

He said the closing of Terminal A will be helpful if the plan for a single terminal goes forward.

“It’s a fortuitous thing we have Terminal A empty and it’s ready to be demolished,” he said.

Which airlines will be in which terminal?

Said McKenna: “Right now, United and US Air are in Terminal A. Continental was in C, and at the time they were next to Northwest Airlines, who merged with Delta, who moved to B. United goes to C and US Air, since American is in C, goes from A to C. AirTran is in B because AirTran has been bought by Southwest.

“And that is why one terminal makes sense.”