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"Kansas officials look at building new Kansas City airport"


 
Monday, February 13, 2017

Kansas officials look at building new Kansas City airport
The Associated Press 


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas officials are considering building an airport in 
Johnson County to compete with Kansas City International.

Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback told the Kansas City Star 
(http://bit.ly/2kzMJxm ) the state is exploring the possibility of building a 
major airport on the Kansas side of the metropolitan area. Several challenges 
remain for the idea of a Kansas airport because getting plans approved for a 
new airport often takes years. Building a new airport is also extremely 
expensive.

Previous talks about renovating Kansas City International and combining all of 
its gates into a single terminal have stalled.

"Airlines are requesting construction of a new single terminal airport at 
(KCI), and the state of Kansas is continually looking for new economic 
development opportunities," Brownback said in an email. "With more than 50 
percent of (KCI) passengers coming from Kansas, we are exploring the 
possibilities of this project."

Airlines like the idea of a single terminal because it would be more efficient, 
but many passengers like the current multiple-terminal design because it is 
easy to get into and out of.

Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said that a modern terminal could lower enplanement 
costs and improve the airport's efficiency.

"An airport of this nature has the ability to generate enormous economic impact 
for the state and we owe it to Kansans to explore the feasibility of this 
project," Colyer said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said no formal 
proposals for a new airport have been submitted.

It's not clear what this idea would mean for cross-border cooperation on 
economic development projects, but Johnson County Commissioner Steve Klike said 
it's important not to ignore needed airport improvements.

"If Kansas City can't get its act together, it's an open ball game," said 
Klika, who is also chairman of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.
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