Kansas City Council approves accord between airlines and airport officials

Southwest has more flights at KCI than any other airlilne.
Southwest has more flights at KCI than any other airlilne. The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a new two-year lease that calls for aviation officials and the airlines at Kansas City International Airport to collaborate on the airport’s future.

“We are very pleased with the outcome,” Aviation Director Mark VanLoh said of the lease with the airlines, which was negotiated over the past year.

It sets up a framework for the eight airlines at KCI to work with the Aviation Department on a plan for either renovating the existing terminals or building a new terminal. Their work will begin once the city receives recommendations from a mayor’s airport terminal task force, due in late April.

City Council members said they hope that having the airlines and aviation officials pledge to work together will reassure the public that whatever plan emerges is good for the airport, the airlines and the public.

Councilman Russ Johnson, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the outcome is not yet certain, but it’s positive to have the airlines at the table now.

“They’re on board with working to collaborate,” he said. “Beyond that, we have two years to work out the specifics.”

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