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Group says new terminal at Kansas City International Airport cheaper than major renovation


KANSAS CITY, Missouri — A single new terminal at Kansas City International Airport would be cheaper to build than a major renovation of the existing terminals, according to an airport study group.

The city's Aviation Department has also previously recommended discarding KCI's horseshoe terminal concept in favor of a new terminal.

Steve Sisneros, director of airport affairs for Southwest Airlines, told the City Council on Tuesday that a renovation project would cost more than $1 billion, while a new terminal would cost significantly less than that, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1DsQYgx ). He declined to provide more specific numbers.

"The airlines are not comfortable discussing cost estimates," he said. He also said those figures will eventually be part of a business agreement between city and the seven airlines at KCI.

Tuesday's special business session was intended to bring council members up to date on the status of the airport talks. Kansas City residents will have a vote on the financing for any major airport improvements.

The airport study group recommended tabling renovation concepts and said advantages of a new terminal would include a centralized baggage-screening operation and moving walkways, which are not possible in the current horseshoe designs. It also would be easier to install new technologies in a new building.

Dan Coffey, who led a petition drive to force a public vote on airport changes, said he was not surprised by the recommendations.

"It's all going to come down to what the cost is going to be, and whether the voters are going to stand for it," he said.

A final, detailed plan for the airport may not come until next spring.

Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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