Government & Politics

Neighborhood listening sessions starting on future of Kansas City International Airport

Kansas City aviation officials are scheduling a series of listening sessions to get the public’s input on upgrades to Kansas City International Airport.
Kansas City aviation officials are scheduling a series of listening sessions to get the public’s input on upgrades to Kansas City International Airport. Kansas City Star file photo

Planning for Kansas City International Airport upgrades has been in a holding pattern for nearly a year, while the city concentrated on a big election for basic infrastructure improvements.

Now that that election is over, the aviation department is gearing up to hear public input on the airport’s future.

The department has sent letters to more than 200 neighborhood associations, seeking to get on their agendas for listening sessions, possibly in May or early this summer. The city will start with neighborhoods within the Kansas City city limits, and may branch out to other neighborhoods in the future.

“I’m ready to start hearing what the public has to say,” Aviation Director Pat Klein said. “We would like to hear from residents about their experiences using the airport and what they want in the future.”

Neighborhoods and other groups can also sign up online for a listening session, at flykci.com/newsroom/neighborhood-meetings/neighborhood-meetings-sign-up-page/.

The sessions will provide information on previous airport planning efforts, and will be an open forum for residents to express thoughts and concerns about the airport.

More details about KCI’s planning are at http://flykci.com/newroom/terminal-master-plan/.

Business and community groups can also add a listening session to their regularly scheduled meetings by contacting John Holland at John.Holland@kcmo.org or at 816-243-3115. Sessions start later this month and will continue through the summer.

Mayor Sly James and some City Council members strongly support replacing the existing horseshoe terminals at KCI with a new single terminal. Southwest Airlines and the other airlines serving the airport also strongly support that plan.

But the public has been highly skeptical, so James last year put the airport planning on hold while the council pursued an $800 million bond plan to improve the city’s basic infrastructure. Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved that plan.

Lynn Horsley: 816-226-2058, @LynnHorsley

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