KANSAS CITY, Mo., September 27, 2007 ? More than 2,000 attendees representing 150 airports in the United States and Canada will convene at Kansas City?s Bartle Hall September 30 to October 3 for the 16th Annual Airports Council International?North (ACI-NA) Conference and Exhibition.
The Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association estimates the economic impact of the conference at approximately $4.2 million based on spending by the attendees and the organization. Almost 90 percent of the attendees are from outside the Kansas City area.
Airport executives will discuss critical issues facing aviation including Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, customer service, security, air service and trends America in global climate and emissions issues. The keynote speaker will be the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters.
This year?s conference takes place at a time when commercial airlines are experiencing more flight delays and cancellations than any year in history, and in the home of the nation?s fastest-growing airport?Kansas City International Airport?which has added 16 new routes from six airlines in the past 12 months.
To keep pace with the increase in passenger and cargo traffic, airports must invest $87.4 billion over the next five years on new airport infrastructure, such as new runways, terminals and gates, according to ACI-NA?s recently-released capital needs survey.
?Every day we hear about delayed flights and growing passenger frustration,? said ACI-NA President Greg Principato. ?The fact is there is simply no room in the system to absorb the additional demand.?
The ACI-NA earlier this year called upon Congress to pass the House FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007, which would authorize an increase in passenger facilities charges (PFCs) to $7 per ticket. PFC revenue supports airport bonds and funds ongoing capacity expansion projects.
?By increasing the PFC ceiling, Congress will enable airports to invest in the future by building more runways, taxiways, and terminals to better serve the traveling public, reducing congestion and delays,? adds Principato.
Although Kansas City International Airport has not yet experienced the flight delays and traffic congestion that have plagued major airports across the country, its rapid growth is part of the national trend that has already had a dramatic affect on airline and cargo operations.
At its current growth rate, Kansas City International Airport will occupy the entire one million square-feet of its existing passenger terminal space by the year 2020, the same year in which the ACI-NA estimates that U.S. airlines will carry one billion passengers, an increase of 15 percent over 2006.
In an effort to stay ahead of the curve, the Kansas City Aviation Department hired Orlando, Fla.-based Landrum & Brown, the world?s oldest independently owned consultancy specializing in the aviation industry, to develop a master plan for land use on and around Kansas City International Airport.
The Master Plan, which will be released in early 2008, is designed to ensure that development keeps pace with the demands of airline and cargo carriers, and in harmony with population growth north of the Missouri River.
?With more than 7,000 acres of undeveloped land on airport property, we have a blank canvass on which to create the nation?s most advanced airport facilities while growing in harmony with the rest of the metro area,? said Kansas City Aviation Director Mark VanLoh.
The Aviation Department is also exploring opportunities to diversify its revenue stream by adding non-aeronautical related assets to its portfolio.
In 2006, the Aviation Department acquired the Ambassador Building, which sits on a 23-acre campus near airport properties and 280,000 square-feet of class A office space. Building amenities include a conference facility that accommodates up to 300 people, a large cafeteria with expansive kitchen facilities, a state-of-the-art security system and convenient access to Kansas City International Airport, as well as Interstates 29 and 435. In May, Wire Rope Corporation of America became an anchor tenant in the building.
In February, the City of Kansas City, Missouri reached an agreement to lease a 300-acre parcel of airport property to FastTrack Group, LLC, who is constructing the KCI Motorsports Park, a state-of-the-art membership-based venue where car enthusiasts can pursue their international obsession for motor sports.
The KCI Motorsports Park will operate similar to golf-oriented country clubs or social membership groups. Phase One construction includes the north track, paddock, clubhouse, a kart track, garage units, public entrance facility (including classrooms), a car-set up shop to be operated by a track pro, and team unit buildings. Phase Two, which includes the south track, a possible second kart track and additional team units and paddock garages, is anticipated to start in March 2008.
In June, the Aviation Department and Dallas-based Trammell Crow Company unveiled a master plan for the 800-acre KCI Intermodal BusinessCentre, a multi-use development located on the southeast corner of the airfield at Kansas City International Airport.
Construction of Phase I, a 300-acre parcel south of the American Airlines overhaul base and fronting Prairie View Road and Interstate 29 on the east edge of airport property, will begin in Fall 2007.
Phase I of the master plan provides for the mass grading of approximately 185 acres of land and the construction of infrastructure to support approximately seven buildings offering nearly 2.7 million square feet of commercial space suitable for intermodal distribution and logistics as well as light manufacturing.
Phase II of the project calls for extension of infrastructure (roads and utilities) to a contiguous 400 acres of land, which feature more than 5,500 linear feet of frontage along the main runways of Kansas City International Airport. This land area is well suited for the development of air cargo facilities, air freight logistics, light manufacturing and assembly and commercial distribution space.
Long-term plans call for mixed use commercial, retail and other development along Tiffany Springs Road, which will be extended west from Interstate 29.
ACI-NA is the largest of five worldwide regions of Airports Council International, the authoritative voice of air carrier airports worldwide. The mission of ACI-NA is to advocate policies and provide services that strengthen the ability of air carrier airports to serve their passengers, customers and communities. For more information about ACI-NA, visit www.aci-na.aero.
The Kansas City Airport System is an enterprise fund department of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and is supported wholly by airport user charges. No general tax fund revenues are used for the administration, promotion, operation, or maintenance of the airports in the system. Kansas City International Airport is one of the nation?s largest airports, covering more than 10,000 acres with more than 7,000 acres available for development. Visit www.flykci.com for more information.