We need a new airport!!!

Transportation topics in KC
cdschofield
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We need a new airport!!!

Postby cdschofield » Tue May 18, 2004 10:15 pm

A tiny piece from a very long and boring house committee meeting transcript about TSA oversight. It came up that maybe the reason KCI did so well on security screening is it's layout. This is really a tongue in cheek post but wouldn't it be funny if KCI becomes the prototype that all airports will be designed from in the future. It also occurred to me that KCI is one of the most convenient, wired, and safest airports in the nation yet it still gets ridiculed because it's not like a big city airport.

Washington Transcript Service; 5/12/2004




Washington Transcript Service

05-12-2004

HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY: SUBCOMMITTEE
ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND BORDER SECURITY HOLDS HEARING ON
TSA OVERSIGHT
MAY 12, 2004

And briefly, lastly, at Kansas City, it is true that they found
that the screeners at Kansas City were better for us providing security
than federal counterparts at a few other airports they compared it to.
They didn't compare it to all Category One airports. They compared it
to a sample.
They found that the TSA and federal and private screeners are
pretty much the same at other airports. Those of you who have been to
Kansas City know it is a very different airport. It's a very unusual layout.

And we're very proud of the work that the screeners there did to
get that result. But I think we probably need to drill down to a little
bit more detail as to why we got that result there.
It can be layout. It might be training. It might be motivation.
There's a lot of things we need to look at.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby en08 » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:19 pm

One of the biggest things that concerns me about Kansas City's development is KCI. While our airport is convienient and nice on the inside, it is not adequate anymore for a city of Kansas City's size. First off, it's structure makes it seem small. When people come to Kansas City, they think we are a small city just because our airport doesn't seem that big (in reality it is fairly large, having 90 gates). Also, it is extremley inconvienient for connecting passengers since there is a security checkpoint at EVERY gate, and you have to go through security again to get food, a magazine, or use the bathroom (in some cases). Kansas City would be a PERFECT hub city due to it's central location for a major airline, and probably would easily become a hub if only we had a bigger airport. Memphis, a city half of our size, has a much larger airport, and is thus a hub. So does Salt Lake City. We are in dire need of a new airport-- I know that we just spent alot of money on renovating KCI, but why! The airport is so old, it is not up to date for the 21st century.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby shaffe » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:29 pm

would you care to expand on how the fundage required to build a new airport that large would be procured?  as well as the infrastructure needed to shift everything to a new location?

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby KCLover » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:30 pm

They just finished up a top to bottom remodel, what much can you ask for.

Your right KCI would be a good hub, but the big airlines aren't looking for any hubs from what I know, they are actually all hurting and buying each other up and downsizing. In so KCI wont expand anymore it would be a waste of money and space unless a big airline would call KCI home which would increase traffic greatly.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby Cyclops » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:42 pm

One thing I agree on is that it's a major pain in the ass if you need to exit the gate area for some reason. Otherwise I love how quickly I can get in and out of the airport. And if you have luggage, having the baggage claim within a few gates is pretty nice too.
the only thing for sure is change.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby DaveKCMO » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:49 pm

en08 wrote:The airport is so old, it is not up to date for the 21st century.


have you been to other airports in cities of comparable size? say, milwaukee? (and it's a hub, btw). when you use that measure, ours is definitely one of the best. come back when the airport is at capacity, because that's the pretty much the only occasion when airports get replaced (and we've got about 2 million more passengers a year to go).

one complaint that you will get agreement on here is the lack of a reliable and cheap public transit link. on that item, KCI is at the end of the line.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby kard » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:19 pm

Non-hub airports = cheaper flights.  Fewer non-stops, but cheaper.
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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby KansasCityChiefs » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:27 pm

I think KCI is just fine considering no airlines are looking for hubs right now.
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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby shinatoo » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:01 am

KCI could do some mods like they did at Term A at DFW and end the whole security issue.
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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby en08 » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:20 am

Mabye we don't need an entirley new airport, but something definatley needs to be done to address the security issue, where sets of gates are "boxed in". Our airport really isn't that small, but it seems really small to people who are visiting Kansas City. People get the impression that KC is not a big city after going through KCI. Since the airport is the first impression you get of a city, it is important we have a good airport, and not one like some small town would have. I have heard numerous people say that they think Kansas City is small after visiting the airport, but once the visit the city (Downtown, JoCo, the Plaza) they quickly change this opinion. Adding "legs" to the ring terminals would alleviate the security situation, and then connecting the legs by walkways, this way you would only have to go through security. Also, it would expand our gate capacity, since there would be gates on both sides of the leg instead of just one side of the main terminal. This project would cost alot of money at first, but we are currently the most expensive airport in terms of security in the US. It would actually probably save us money in the long run.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby skim82 » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:23 am

I think that KCI was a great airport pre-911, but with all the security measures, KCI is not as convenient as it once was.  

Truth is, I know funding is an issue, and nothing will get done prob. within at least 2 or 3 decades... but it is the doormat to our city, and having been able to travel to other cities, KCI is a total dump...

The lighting is bad, the terminals offer no real dining/entertainment options, and buses running from terminals is a horrible way to move out of town passengers from terminal to terminal (if need be, mostly not relevant b/c people connect with the same airline)

DaveKCMO wrote:have you been to other airports in cities of comparable size? say, milwaukee? (and it's a hub, btw). when you use that measure, ours is definitely one of the best. come back when the airport is at capacity, because that's the pretty much the only occasion when airports get replaced (and we've got about 2 million more passengers a year to go).


How would you classify best? If you mean up to date and modern, there are many airports that I have been to similiar in size to KC that are FAR better.  For example Northern KY Intl./Cincinatti, Cleveland, Memphis, Portland, etc.  

I fly into Ontario (CA) all the time, and I must say, although its a smaller airport, it is laid out a lot better and is more functional post-911.  

Don't get me wrong, I love KCI as a local b/c of the exit doors being 25 feet from the gate, but the lack of amenities drive me crazy (restaurants,etc)

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby ddw334umkc » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:38 am

As far as passenger airlines are concerned, Kansas City doesn't have the air travel and ridership to accomodate an airport the size of, let's say DFW or Minneapolis.  KCI is just a pit stop in between the bigger cities.

KCI definately has the potential to establish itself as a logistics hub, given it's central location and it's interstate network. In fact, check out the Kasarda Plan. http://www.ingramsonline.com/dnlNew/kci.php
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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby KCPowercat » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:56 am

Personally I have no issues with it.....I love the security checkpoints at each gate....really quick boarding.

If we wanted to get a hub, one terminal could be redone to centralize security.....now gates around Southwest and Midwest are being consolidated so connecting passengers don't have to go through security again...unless they want refreshments.

Obviously the airport wasn't made for a hub...so why fit a square peg in a round hole?  I love not having a hub...like Kard said....cheap flights...
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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby GRID » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:14 am

skim82 wrote:I think that KCI was a great airport pre-911, but with all the security measures, KCI is not as convenient as it once was.  

Truth is, I know funding is an issue, and nothing will get done prob. within at least 2 or 3 decades... but it is the doormat to our city, and having been able to travel to other cities, KCI is a total dump...

The lighting is bad, the terminals offer no real dining/entertainment options, and buses running from terminals is a horrible way to move out of town passengers from terminal to terminal (if need be, mostly not relevant b/c people connect with the same airline)

How would you classify best? If you mean up to date and modern, there are many airports that I have been to similar in size to KC that are FAR better.  For example Northern KY Intl./Cincinatti, Cleveland, Memphis, Portland, etc.  

I fly into Ontario (CA) all the time, and I must say, although its a smaller airport, it is laid out a lot better and is more functional post-911.  

Don't get me wrong, I love KCI as a local b/c of the exit doors being 25 feet from the gate, but the lack of amenities drive me crazy (restaurants,etc)



What do these other airports have that KCI doesn't?  I mean there are fast food places and some bar and grills at KCI.  At least at KCI you can actually "sit down" and eat a cheeseburger and read the paper vs having to stand in some concourse or drag your food to a waiting area.

There are very few airports that truly offer a "mall" atmosphere and even they don't seem to have as many dining choices as one would like.

I think it's obvious that KCI is simply spread out over multiple terminals.  You can easily fly into a smaller terminal at other airports and get the same feeling you do flying into terminal C at KCI, but you know the airport is more than what you are seeing.

I don't care what an airport offers, what I remember is that in many large airports, I have to be at the security gate 2 hours before my flight or I am toast.  I get to KCI 20 minutes before my plane leaves all the time (not by choice ;)).

KCI is ok, the thing I hate about KCI is flying into it from the west or north.  I'm a "window seater" and its like you are landing in Wyoming when approaching from those directions.  Although I have never flown into DIA and I would assume its pretty similar.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby GRID » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:19 am

One of my favorite airports is Sky Harbor....Although I would still take KCI's convenience over it anyday.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby GRID » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:24 am

KCI is really not that bad though...

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Brodees
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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby Brodees » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:38 am

GRID wrote:Image


:shock: Holy shite, there's stuff upstairs??  I always thought that the upper levels were areas for airport staff ... silly me.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby nota » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:48 am

On my list of things that KC needs, a new airport would definitely be waaaaay down on the list. Waaaaaay down.

MCI is just fine as it is. Especially since they got the bathrooms inside the gates. People who are dropping off or meeting their passengers can actually do it at the gate rather than the kiss and hug at the central security or picking them up at the baggage carousel.

You can pick up and drop off your passengers right at their gate-try that anywhere else.

No one goes to the airport for dinner and entertainment. Only if you have a big layover or a big delay and there are plenty of places for that. That's why there are no longer sit down restaurants there. They couldnt' make it. People want to go to the airport for travel and leave. Yep, big (more traffic) airports have shops and better restaurants, but evidently their level of traffic can support it.

I love the Salt Lake City airport because it got so spiffed up for the Olympics and is really bright and cheery now. I love the Detroit airport because I love the tunnel, but that is one gawdawful walk when you have 35 minutes between your flights. Charlotte's airport shows a lot of city pride always and I love the central food/shopping area. If you want hustle and bustle, Logan and Atlanta fill that bill nicely. LAX fills the diversity bill nicely.

But I've not been in an airport that I like any better than ours and I've been in a lot of them. Every one of them has some good and some bad points.

I'd a lot rather have a nice rail system to take me to a gleaming DT than any new airport. Airports are no different than bus stations. Just a "passing through" place, nothing more. Need to be clean and efficient. Everything else is just fluff.
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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby KC0KEK » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:54 am

en08 wrote:People get the impression that KC is not a big city after going through KCI. Since the airport is the first impression you get of a city, it is important we have a good airport, and not one like some small town would have. I have heard numerous people say that they think Kansas City is small after visiting the airport, but once the visit the city (Downtown, JoCo, the Plaza) they quickly change this opinion.


I really wish that you'd have searched for threads on this topic before starting yet another one. As I posted in one of those, it doesn't matter whether visitors think KC is a small town based on its airport. They're already here! And as you note, once they visit the city, they realize that KC is a major city.

In other words, this is an example of when first impressions don't count. KCI is not key for drawing visitors. They're already here for some other attraction, and when they get to that, they realize what a great place KC is.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Postby frankthetank » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:58 am

Brodees wrote::shock: Holy shite, there's stuff upstairs??  I always thought that the upper levels were areas for airport staff ... silly me.

Me too Brobees! Must show how much we fly. Would it be feasible to build a Tram/Train in between Terminals... like Atlanta/Denver for example... to make it more convenient for connecting passengers? The buses suck because people have to go outside.


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