Mayor James Announces Innovative Proposal for New Single Terminal

Mayor Sly James, joined by City Manager Troy Schulte, and a wide range of supporters, today laid out an innovative proposal for financing and development of a new, single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

The new single terminal airport would be built on the site of the current airport's Terminal A and the final design will retain the conveniences Kansas Citians appreciate, like parking, proximity to gates, and curbside drop off and pick up.

A privately financed airport terminal idea is believed to be the first-of-its kind in the nation. An innovative model, the airport would receive financing through private investment, paid for by airport usage fees, with no funds coming from the City's general fund, new taxes, or existing bonds.

If approved by the City Council, the proposal would be voted on by Kansas City, Missouri residents in November.

“When we pressed pause on this conversation last spring, I asked the business community to develop a viable plan for moving forward that ensures our residents we will maintain the convenience that is so important to travelers, as well guaranteeing that the city’s financial coffers are not at risk with the construction of a new single terminal,” said Mayor Sly James. "The proposal outlined today is just that. KCI is a civic asset, and the front door to our City for visitors, tourists, and businesses around the world. Our current airport has outgrown the demands of a modern economy, and a world-class city. This is the kind of innovative thinking that Kansas City should be proud of.”

Burns & McDonnell, a globally-recognized leader in the field and a Kansas City-based company, would privately finance the design and construction of a new single terminal that is convenient, meets the needs of users, and meets the needs set forth by the airlines one year ago.

The City of Kansas City, Missouri would remain the sole, 100% owner and operator of the new KCI . In addition, all prevailing wage and MBE/WBE/DBE goals must be met as with any city aviation department capital project.

The City of Kansas City’s Aviation Department would still own and operate the airport, using existing management and staff.

An MOU outlining the proposal will be introduced to the City Council on Thursday, May 18, 2017. The City Council’s Airport Committee will invite public comments at two meetings the week of May 22nd.

The Aviation Department is also actively seeking input from the public about what is important to them and what they want in their airport.

Before being approved by City Council, proposed ballot language would be drafted and at that time the public would have additional opportunity to weigh in. Ballot language would need to be passed by late summer for a vote in November.

The public can also comment via the City’s online town hall at

Today’s speakers included:

  • Kansas City Mayor Sly James
  • Ray Kowalik, CEO of Burns and McDonnell
  • Duke Dujakovich, President of the Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO
  • Darren Hennen, representing the Platte County EDC and Northland Chamber of Commerce
  • Reverend Modest Miles, Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church
  • Ronnie Burt, President and CEO of Visit KC


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