We need a new airport!!!

Transportation topics in KC
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normalthings
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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by normalthings » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:13 pm

brewcrew1000 wrote:I have a hard time believing this airport redesign will cost under 1 billion. If you look at past history of recent airports they are all going way over budget. The redesign in SLC has gone over a billion from its original estimate. The brand new airport in Berlin I believe has gone overbudget by like 4 billion
We must also remember those airports are much much larger than KCI

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by cityscape » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:30 pm

My biggest concern with the design is that there isn't enough width in the terminal as compared to some of our counterparts. Looking at the Star's view of Indy, Raleigh-Durham, and Ft. Meyer's airports they all had more square footage than the proposed single terminal. I'm not suggesting we have to have 1 million square feet, but we at least want to be on par or slightly above the average square feet per gate.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by normalthings » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:44 pm

cityscape wrote:My biggest concern with the design is that there isn't enough width in the terminal as compared to some of our counterparts. Looking at the Star's view of Indy, Raleigh-Durham, and Ft. Meyer's airports they all had more square footage than the proposed single terminal. I'm not suggesting we have to have 1 million square feet, but we at least want to be on par or slightly above the average square feet per gate.
Mention this at one of the community events.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by im2kull » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:18 pm

earthling wrote:.. if KC can build up as a hub.
I sure hope that every time anyone in this thread mentions "Hub" they're NOT talking about a specific airlines hub, and are actually meaning to say "More flights" in general.


An actual single airline "Hub" would be one of the worst things to ever happen to KC and KCI!

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by KCPowercat » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:37 am

Yeah it was so horrible when Midwest express was here...or vanguard.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by brewcrew1000 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:05 am

im2kull wrote:
earthling wrote:.. if KC can build up as a hub.
I sure hope that every time anyone in this thread mentions "Hub" they're NOT talking about a specific airlines hub, and are actually meaning to say "More flights" in general.


An actual single airline "Hub" would be one of the worst things to ever happen to KC and KCI!
I think he means a Fortress Hub where one single airline is so dominant that other airlines will not expand beyond it biggest hubs thus leads to super high fares like Cincinnati to KC for 400 roundtrip. Some examples of these were Cincinnati/Delta (that has died off though). Memphis and Minneapolis were like this also when Northwest was dominate at these airports. I don't think we will ever see fortress hubs again because of airlines like Spirit and Frontier

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by swid » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:12 am

Cranky Flier has a follow-up article to the one he posted last week; this one is an interview with a Southwest exec.

Per the follow-up article, SW currently has about 25-30 flights/day going through St. Louis that it would prefer to have going through KC.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by normalthings » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:49 am

what percentage of SWA flights per day in STL is that?

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by swid » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:59 am

STL's Departures page lists 88 SW flights for the remainder of the day. Without putting too much work into it, I'm guessing they have about 130-140/day overall.

KC has about 70 SW flights/day currently.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by earthling » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:45 pm

brewcrew1000 wrote:
im2kull wrote:
earthling wrote:.. if KC can build up as a hub.
I sure hope that every time anyone in this thread mentions "Hub" they're NOT talking about a specific airlines hub, and are actually meaning to say "More flights" in general.


An actual single airline "Hub" would be one of the worst things to ever happen to KC and KCI!
I think he means a Fortress Hub where one single airline is so dominant that other airlines will not expand beyond it biggest hubs thus leads to super high fares like Cincinnati to KC for 400 roundtrip. Some examples of these were Cincinnati/Delta (that has died off though). Memphis and Minneapolis were like this also when Northwest was dominate at these airports. I don't think we will ever see fortress hubs again because of airlines like Spirit and Frontier
I mean at least mini or mid-sized hubs for several airlines, not one dominating hub. Agree that dominate hubs (using over 80% of gates) are bad for airline fares, but several airlines using KCI as smaller hubs gets us more flights and maintains competition.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by earthling » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:50 pm

swid wrote: Per the follow-up article, SW currently has about 25-30 flights/day going through St. Louis that it would prefer to have going through KC.
An article earlier this year quoted KCI officials claiming that KCI has more local passenger traffic than STL does. Can't find it, any confirmation?

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by normalthings » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:20 pm

I think the numbers are about the same^ Someone posted it on the UrbanSTL.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by brewcrew1000 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:21 pm

earthling wrote:
brewcrew1000 wrote:
im2kull wrote:
I sure hope that every time anyone in this thread mentions "Hub" they're NOT talking about a specific airlines hub, and are actually meaning to say "More flights" in general.


An actual single airline "Hub" would be one of the worst things to ever happen to KC and KCI!
I think he means a Fortress Hub where one single airline is so dominant that other airlines will not expand beyond it biggest hubs thus leads to super high fares like Cincinnati to KC for 400 roundtrip. Some examples of these were Cincinnati/Delta (that has died off though). Memphis and Minneapolis were like this also when Northwest was dominate at these airports. I don't think we will ever see fortress hubs again because of airlines like Spirit and Frontier
I mean at least mini or mid-sized hubs for several airlines, not one dominating hub. Agree that dominate hubs (using over 80% of gates) are bad for airline fares, but several airlines using KCI as smaller hubs gets us more flights and maintains competition.
I could really see an airline like Alaska Airlines setting up a mini-hub here, they have already added non stops from SFO and San Diego in the past year and if they had increased frequencies from all there west coast hubs into KCI they could set up a little Midwest to East Coast feeder hub. Alaska's West Coast to East Coast flights are kind of pathetic and only offer like 1 or 2 flights a day from its west coast hubs. Setting up 4 or 5 flights a day each from SEA, Portland, SFO and San Diego into KCI could set up a nice mini-hub for increased East Coast Traffic.

Alaska has seen a lot of increased competition from Delta in the Pacific Northwest and I think they really need to think outside the box and grow beyond the West Coast if they want to survive. Once SW starts flying to Hawaii, i think its going to really take a hit on Alaska.

Another airline I wish would come to KCI is JetBlue, i've been waiting on them for 10 years now.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by swid » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:36 pm

If your state doesn't touch an ocean or Great Lake, it's almost assuredly "here be dragons" territory for JetBlue.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by KCFan » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:48 pm

swid wrote:If your state doesn't touch an ocean or Great Lake, it's almost assuredly "here be dragons" territory for JetBlue.
JetBlue is the air line Johnson County had been working on when there was concern we weren't going to build a new terminal in KC. So would be awesome if we could get them in the new terminal.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by STLguy1 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:14 am

Just a few comments. Cranky Flier is stated as "Cranky Flier. A snarky airline industry blog established in 2006" run by a guy that hasn't been in the airline biz since 2005 and has been debunked by more airlines and industry leaders than Donald Trump has been by Dems and the GOP. He is called cranky for a reason. He hates SWA as well. A few years ago I remember Doug Parker, the last CEO of USairways before merger with AA called the crazy flier one of the most clueless and arrogant writers on the www. I'll look for a reference to that.

From the KC Star October 27 before vote:
"As the boss for the dominant airline serving KCI, [Southwest Airline's] Gary Kelly is one person who could make the call about if Kansas City gets more flight options from a new terminal. But he stopped short of making that promise. “Tell me what fuel prices will be in a year, tell me what the economy will be in a year, no one can predict the future,” Kelly said. “So there are no guarantees in life."

Sure I will be willing to bet more service in KC, but in the next 4 to 5 years (if the new terminal is ready by then) SWA will be ramping up it's operations in STL and other focus cities even more.

So here's my www industry fame... I have been in the airline and travel industry for 33 years and have owned Missouri's largest group travel company for the past 21 years. Whew, I'm ready to retire. Hehe. I fly SWA twice a week to LAX from either MCI or STL. Landed this evening in STL at 1am after a 2 hour delay and will return to MCI tmmrw evening on the 10:05pm STL to MCI flight. I will never be or never call myself a "cranky flier" nor will I start blogging. Anyway... here is my take.

I, personally, am thrilled KC will get a new terminal, however, I wish it would be built better to accommodate larger growth and connections. I am not a fan of single terminal / shared airlines gate areas. The only airport I can think of that actually has large volume operations on a single terminal / shared gate areas is PDX. Most others see more O&D traffic only and little growth in connections.

Let me put it this way... airlines don't pick airports because of glitzy lights, fountains, tiles and amenities.

Airlines pick airports for destinations, locations (flight times), passenger volumes / originating traffic , connections ease and schedules, landing costs, and bottom dollars (filling flights).

Let's break that down for STL and MCI.

Destinations: STL has 10 Fortune 500 companies, MCI has 1 on the Kansas side (Sprint) which looks dismal and about to be bought by TMobile anytime and literally disolved because of diplications. The Wall Street Journal says that it would be "disastrous" for the KC area in terms of job loss and economics. I'm worried about this for KC. STL also has nearly 200 more Fortune 1000 companies than the MCI area. Both airports are located perfectly. STL is centered for east coast medium hauls and west coast long hauls. In addition, cities like Tulsa, Wichita, OKC and Omaha are major areas that SWA in now connecting through STL... all of which are too close to MCI...as airlines, like SWA, have eliminated most of their short haul flights. 

Passenger Volumes / Originating traffic: as of last month, STL has the highest yield on O&D for SWA over all medium sized airports. The STL Metro has almost a million more people than the immediate MCI area. Originating traffic will not only allow SWA to provide and fill nonstop flights but then provide the connections from other cities through STL. Originating traffic has to be there for nonstops in the first place. In July O&D passenger traffic In STL had a 7.2% increase over last July. In 4 or even 10 years time, STLs originating traffic will most likely continue to exceed that of the MCI area served. 

Connections / schedules: Southwest LITERALLY has their own very nice and new terminal and now international gates in STL... with room to grow. Their investment in STLs Terminal 2 expansion (SWA alone has spent over 3 million in expansion terminal updates in STL in the past 5 years) and growth has been enormous in recent years and continues.

MCI's new terminal (the biggest drawback I see) is a single terminal of 30 to 35 gates. SWA will be "sharing' this terminal and gates around theirs with all airlines. This is where SWA "luvs" STL in many ways. They have their own operations (and most likely to add a crew base soon) in STL. SWAs major "hubs" all have this.... Chicago Midway, Phoenix (concourse), Denver (concourse), Dallas LUV, Houston Hobby, Baltimore (concourse), Orlando (concourse), Atlanta (concourse), see the trend. 

SWA growth in STL over the past 15 years has been carefully cultivated. Their route network in the past 20 years (mainly in the past few years with acquiring AirTran) has boomed. They have been strong in crafting a profitable schedule and have grown to be the largest domestic USA carrier. They have went from (with growing pains) as a "low cost" and "focus city" airline to a big contender and legacy (almost 50 years) airline now having to position themselves a little differently moving connections through more less "hubs." They have trimmed fat and have / are luring the business travelers. Overall, they have done an amazing job IMO and STL has not only faired well... They have been poised by SWA for SWAs future growth. 

Landing Costs: The new MCI will be funded completely by private dollars and the airlines. They haven't said how much yet.... but the airlines will be paying higher landing costs (around 9 to 12 dollars per pax) and gate costs in the new single terminal. In STL today they are paying 11.00 per pax, however their investment in their own terminal and concourse in STL and STL Internationals investment in SWA is deep seeded... remember they are getting the highest return on their O&D pax in STL for medium sized airports. In addition, STL has a larger runway capacity and ability to land / take off during busy times/schedules for all airlines and in inclement weather. 

I personally think STLs hundred of millions of dollars in renovations in all terminals and concourses looks great.

I think that it is long overdue for a new MCI, but it may be a little too late when looking at airline expansion. The airlines serving MCI now are doing just that "serving" MCI and the demand and traffic they are warranting. The new airport will give travelers a better view and amenities but service will most likely stay the same (as long as the airlines bottom dollars and planes are filled). NEW airports (ask Indy and many others) bring little if any new service or routes. If an airline felt there was money to be made in MCI right now.... They will put their plane on schedule NOW as there is not a capacity issue in the current configuration and for O&D traffic. The "new airport = more service" is a myth and the airlines and industry will tell you that too. 

But overall, it will be a mega better "welcome to KC" than the craphole on life support KC has now.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by normalthings » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:04 am

You've shared All Interesting points that were also shared on Urban STL.

Remember.
1. New Terminal will be able to handle double the number of flights we currently use.
2. The estimated fees per passenger have been announced. And as far as I know it's lower than STL.
3. $3million isn't a huge investment. Not nearly large enough to consider something in the bag. Not that I think SWA will abandon STL over night.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by KCFan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:50 am

SWA has over half of KCI's market now so they will have a huge say in the new terminal design and I'm sure they will have first choice of where they want to be. KCI only connects 4% passengers right now, which is probably the lowest percentage in the midwest so there will be room to grow. I believe KC has a higher percentage of population that flies than St. Louis does. Additionally, the KC market is growing faster than St. Louis (and was on a nice up tick last year) while St. Louis' metro actually lost population (not much), but I don't know how that is even possible for a city of St. Louis' size. I don't think KC is going to come in and steal a bunch of flights that St. Louis already has, but I do think KC will be a growth airport for airlines that want to grow. And who knows, maybe another recession shakes the industry up because a lot of flights will be lost and then KC can grab some of them when the industry expands again. We're 4 years away from the new KCI opening, which is a long time and I'm sure there will be plenty of change between now and then.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by KCPowercat » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:30 am

None of this matters right now.

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Re: We need a new airport!!!

Post by hartliss » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:35 pm

STLguy1 wrote:Just a few comments. Cranky Flier is stated as "Cranky Flier. A snarky airline industry blog established in 2006" run by a guy that hasn't been in the airline biz since 2005 and has been debunked by more airlines and industry leaders than Donald Trump has been by Dems and the GOP. He is called cranky for a reason. He hates SWA as well. A few years ago I remember Doug Parker, the last CEO of USairways before merger with AA called the crazy flier one of the most clueless and arrogant writers on the www. I'll look for a reference to that.

From the KC Star October 27 before vote:
"As the boss for the dominant airline serving KCI, [Southwest Airline's] Gary Kelly is one person who could make the call about if Kansas City gets more flight options from a new terminal. But he stopped short of making that promise. “Tell me what fuel prices will be in a year, tell me what the economy will be in a year, no one can predict the future,” Kelly said. “So there are no guarantees in life."

Sure I will be willing to bet more service in KC, but in the next 4 to 5 years (if the new terminal is ready by then) SWA will be ramping up it's operations in STL and other focus cities even more.

So here's my www industry fame... I have been in the airline and travel industry for 33 years and have owned Missouri's largest group travel company for the past 21 years. Whew, I'm ready to retire. Hehe. I fly SWA twice a week to LAX from either MCI or STL. Landed this evening in STL at 1am after a 2 hour delay and will return to MCI tmmrw evening on the 10:05pm STL to MCI flight. I will never be or never call myself a "cranky flier" nor will I start blogging. Anyway... here is my take.

I, personally, am thrilled KC will get a new terminal, however, I wish it would be built better to accommodate larger growth and connections. I am not a fan of single terminal / shared airlines gate areas. The only airport I can think of that actually has large volume operations on a single terminal / shared gate areas is PDX. Most others see more O&D traffic only and little growth in connections.

Let me put it this way... airlines don't pick airports because of glitzy lights, fountains, tiles and amenities.

Airlines pick airports for destinations, locations (flight times), passenger volumes / originating traffic , connections ease and schedules, landing costs, and bottom dollars (filling flights).

Let's break that down for STL and MCI.

Destinations: STL has 10 Fortune 500 companies, MCI has 1 on the Kansas side (Sprint) which looks dismal and about to be bought by TMobile anytime and literally disolved because of diplications. The Wall Street Journal says that it would be "disastrous" for the KC area in terms of job loss and economics. I'm worried about this for KC. STL also has nearly 200 more Fortune 1000 companies than the MCI area. Both airports are located perfectly. STL is centered for east coast medium hauls and west coast long hauls. In addition, cities like Tulsa, Wichita, OKC and Omaha are major areas that SWA in now connecting through STL... all of which are too close to MCI...as airlines, like SWA, have eliminated most of their short haul flights. 

Passenger Volumes / Originating traffic: as of last month, STL has the highest yield on O&D for SWA over all medium sized airports. The STL Metro has almost a million more people than the immediate MCI area. Originating traffic will not only allow SWA to provide and fill nonstop flights but then provide the connections from other cities through STL. Originating traffic has to be there for nonstops in the first place. In July O&D passenger traffic In STL had a 7.2% increase over last July. In 4 or even 10 years time, STLs originating traffic will most likely continue to exceed that of the MCI area served. 

Connections / schedules: Southwest LITERALLY has their own very nice and new terminal and now international gates in STL... with room to grow. Their investment in STLs Terminal 2 expansion (SWA alone has spent over 3 million in expansion terminal updates in STL in the past 5 years) and growth has been enormous in recent years and continues.

MCI's new terminal (the biggest drawback I see) is a single terminal of 30 to 35 gates. SWA will be "sharing' this terminal and gates around theirs with all airlines. This is where SWA "luvs" STL in many ways. They have their own operations (and most likely to add a crew base soon) in STL. SWAs major "hubs" all have this.... Chicago Midway, Phoenix (concourse), Denver (concourse), Dallas LUV, Houston Hobby, Baltimore (concourse), Orlando (concourse), Atlanta (concourse), see the trend. 

SWA growth in STL over the past 15 years has been carefully cultivated. Their route network in the past 20 years (mainly in the past few years with acquiring AirTran) has boomed. They have been strong in crafting a profitable schedule and have grown to be the largest domestic USA carrier. They have went from (with growing pains) as a "low cost" and "focus city" airline to a big contender and legacy (almost 50 years) airline now having to position themselves a little differently moving connections through more less "hubs." They have trimmed fat and have / are luring the business travelers. Overall, they have done an amazing job IMO and STL has not only faired well... They have been poised by SWA for SWAs future growth. 

Landing Costs: The new MCI will be funded completely by private dollars and the airlines. They haven't said how much yet.... but the airlines will be paying higher landing costs (around 9 to 12 dollars per pax) and gate costs in the new single terminal. In STL today they are paying 11.00 per pax, however their investment in their own terminal and concourse in STL and STL Internationals investment in SWA is deep seeded... remember they are getting the highest return on their O&D pax in STL for medium sized airports. In addition, STL has a larger runway capacity and ability to land / take off during busy times/schedules for all airlines and in inclement weather. 

I personally think STLs hundred of millions of dollars in renovations in all terminals and concourses looks great.

I think that it is long overdue for a new MCI, but it may be a little too late when looking at airline expansion. The airlines serving MCI now are doing just that "serving" MCI and the demand and traffic they are warranting. The new airport will give travelers a better view and amenities but service will most likely stay the same (as long as the airlines bottom dollars and planes are filled). NEW airports (ask Indy and many others) bring little if any new service or routes. If an airline felt there was money to be made in MCI right now.... They will put their plane on schedule NOW as there is not a capacity issue in the current configuration and for O&D traffic. The "new airport = more service" is a myth and the airlines and industry will tell you that too. 

But overall, it will be a mega better "welcome to KC" than the craphole on life support KC has now.
Thanks stlguy, good perspective which I agree with. Let's all be proud of what we are getting and let the flight economic dominos fall where they will. We are already fortunate to have the service we have today.

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