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Old 12-12-2016, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,653 posts, read 1,767,273 times
Reputation: 2195

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
TWA actually wanted a new terminal back in the 1970's. Even though TWA played a big role in the design of KCI, they actually realized that KCI was obsolete the day it opened. They wanted the city to rebuild the terminals to better deal with new security issues (and this was before 9-11).

The city refused, TWA moved to St Louis and the airport continues to be a huge problem for airlines to make it a major hub 40 years later.
I realize this is crying over spilt milk in a sense, but given that the city built the airport to a design TWA largely pushed for, could you blame city officials for balking when the same airline then turned around and said "This ain't gonna work, let's start over" not long after it spent all that money building the first design?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
It's not about making it a hub, it's about making it a functioning modern airport.

I was just saying that KC would probably be a hub today had the city built a new terminal 20 years ago due to location, runway capacity etc. KC has many advantages over St Louis which is why TWA originally wanted to be in KC, but settled on St Louis mainly due to the airport terminal (which was nearly brand new at the time). KC will probably never be a hub now. Like you said, there are far fewer hubs now and Denver, DFW, ORD, MSP have the middle of the country well covered now. But KC could easily be a major "focus city" for Southwest. The only thing that has stopped that from happening is the terminal. However, by the time KC fixes the airport, that ship will likely have sailed too. Southwest has already basically shelved the idea as they are now putting emphasis on Denver and St Louis instead and that won't be easy to undo.
I think the airline's historic ties to its birthplace and longtime headquarters may have also had something to do with TWA's push to build a radical new design at its maintenance-base airport. Keep in mind that through the 1960s and 1970s, the executive suite may have moved to New York but the airline's heart and soul (and much of its capital investment in physical facilities for its operations) remained in Kansas City.
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,488,746 times
Reputation: 5405
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I realize this is crying over spilt milk in a sense, but given that the city built the airport to a design TWA largely pushed for, could you blame city officials for balking when the same airline then turned around and said "This ain't gonna work, let's start over" not long after it spent all that money building the first design?

I think the airline's historic ties to its birthplace and longtime headquarters may have also had something to do with TWA's push to build a radical new design at its maintenance-base airport. Keep in mind that through the 1960s and 1970s, the executive suite may have moved to New York but the airline's heart and soul (and much of its capital investment in physical facilities for its operations) remained in Kansas City.
Of course I don't blame the city for the TWA situation. However, 20-30 years later? After watching Braniff, Eastern, Midwest and others fail when they wanted to make KC a hub after they say one of the main reasons they failed in KC was due to the terminal design? At some point you have to start blaming somebody. I think most people at city hall have come around and realize that KCI needs a new terminal and will back it despite it being wildly unpopular with voters and not a good idea for them politically. So recently, it's not the city holding back the airport, it's the fact that the city has to ask residents for their permission to modernize the airport. The city would have replaced it ten years ago if it were not for the stubborn residents.

I swear to god, KC is the only place I have seen that would say no to modern infrastructure, especially when it's not funded by general tax payers. Even Southwest has stated that they have never seen this or dealt with this. Most cities would trip all over themselves if the airlines were funding nearly all of a total airport terminal rebuild. It's bizarre.
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Old 12-12-2016, 07:48 PM
 
Location: KCMO (Plaza)
290 posts, read 229,980 times
Reputation: 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Of course I don't blame the city for the TWA situation. However, 20-30 years later? After watching Braniff, Eastern, Midwest and others fail when they wanted to make KC a hub after they say one of the main reasons they failed in KC was due to the terminal design? At some point you have to start blaming somebody. I think most people at city hall have come around and realize that KCI needs a new terminal and will back it despite it being wildly unpopular with voters and not a good idea for them politically. So recently, it's not the city holding back the airport, it's the fact that the city has to ask residents for their permission to modernize the airport. The city would have replaced it ten years ago if it were not for the stubborn residents.

I swear to god, KC is the only place I have seen that would say no to modern infrastructure, especially when it's not funded by general tax payers. Even Southwest has stated that they have never seen this or dealt with this. Most cities would trip all over themselves if the airlines were funding nearly all of a total airport terminal rebuild. It's bizarre.
You and I both know KC has a lot going for it and will continue to develop, albeit slower than its peer cities it seems. But one thing you can't deny is too many people here are fine with the status-quo, even if preserving that status-quo entails a pretty crappy airport. And really, anyone that has traveled extensively throughout the country can only see MCI as an antiquated airport that certainly presents KC far from being a progressive center of innovation.
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
401 posts, read 299,960 times
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The last two times I flew out of MCI were miserable experiences. I may actually look into flying out of St Louis next time since tickets are cheaper. I should vist people there anyway.
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Old 12-13-2016, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Alamogordo, NM
5,496 posts, read 5,153,156 times
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Anyone know how much of a tax hike a re-done airport might mean for Jackson County residents? Is Southwest actually ponying up a lot for it - if the people of KC would ever approve it? Sounds to me like it should be a no-brainer to rebuild KCI and join the 21st Century.
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,488,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkotronics View Post
Anyone know how much of a tax hike a re-done airport might mean for Jackson County residents? Is Southwest actually ponying up a lot for it - if the people of KC would ever approve it? Sounds to me like it should be a no-brainer to rebuild KCI and join the 21st Century.
Zero tax hike. The new terminal would be funded by the airport authority which is a self-sustaining entity not funded by the any city or county tax revenue. (KCI is in Platte County btw, although airport issues must be passed by voters in all of KCMO across all counties). Downtown airport is also self sustaining, but for some reason the city has been able to modernize it without asking for permission. Although most of the money they used to upgrade MKC came from the FAA via grants for airport improvements and also from money redirected to MKC after closing Richards Gebaur which was a huge drain on the city. MKC is now one of the nicest corporate/gen aviation airports in the country. If it were up to voters, it would probably be about ready to close by now do to lack of investment. The voters wanted to keep RG open (because they are all airport experts). Then KC would still have two crappy gen aviation airports rather than one really good one.

So the airport funds itself using various forms of revenue. Landing fees, revenue from retail and restaurants, parking revenue and the FAA airport improvement program.

Landing fees. This is probably the biggest funding source. Right now, KCI has a very low landing fees so there is plenty of room to raise the landing fee. Despite St Louis having much higher landing fees, Southwest is putting flights there over KC because the terminal experience is so bad for their through or connecting customers. So cheaper is not always better. Due to the lack of connecting flights, KCI has fewer flights to choose from, which drives up ticket prices. So low landing fees is not helping KCI near as much as the terminal is hurting it.

Revenue generated from retail and restaurants. This source of revenue is extremely low for a large airport due to KCI’s lack of services. I don’t have the stats in front of me, but KCI produces a small fraction of the revenue that normal midsized airports generate off retail and restaurants. A new terminal would generate considerably more revenue in this area which would go back paying for a terminal.

Parking is a huge revenue source at KCI. This probably would change much although parking would become much more convenient because a new massive garage would be built directly across from the terminal.

A new terminal would add a billion dollar construction project to KC’s local economy, put thousands of local people to work for years and once it’s open, will probably employ more people and attract more flights than the current airport.

No brainer is an understatement.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Alamogordo, NM
5,496 posts, read 5,153,156 times
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Oh, man. After reading this I'm blown away that KC, MO, residents don't raise a stink about this and put it up for vote! I am all for it, and I'm not a native Missourian, I'm a native Washingtonian, Seattle being my birth city. I am all for modernization, yet I love some good history and restoration of old structures to make them new again.


As in an airport - I used to work for Boeing in Everett, WA, on 747/767 jetliners. I know what my old workmates would do after reading your post above - we'd get grumpy old man looks on our faces and exclaim "Why?"
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:09 PM
 
519 posts, read 467,812 times
Reputation: 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by elkotronics View Post
Oh, man. After reading this I'm blown away that KC, MO, residents don't raise a stink about this and put it up for vote! I am all for it, and I'm not a native Missourian, I'm a native Washingtonian, Seattle being my birth city. I am all for modernization, yet I love some good history and restoration of old structures to make them new again.


As in an airport - I used to work for Boeing in Everett, WA, on 747/767 jetliners. I know what my old workmates would do after reading your post above - we'd get grumpy old man looks on our faces and exclaim "Why?"
KCI and it's voting all has to do with politics and the mentality of the citizens left in KC boundaries. If KC was Oklahoma City or Tulsa, the citizens would vote for a new terminal.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:53 PM
 
519 posts, read 467,812 times
Reputation: 325
actually, relocating KC's airport back down to MKC wouldn't be a bad idea. There's no more need for KCI, no overhaul base for TWA/American, one closed terminal and two dysfunctional operating terminals. With downtown MKC location, it would be a hell of a lot closer for all the passengers using it, (south of the river passengers).
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Old 12-13-2016, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,653 posts, read 1,767,273 times
Reputation: 2195
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekcmo View Post
actually, relocating KC's airport back down to MKC wouldn't be a bad idea. There's no more need for KCI, no overhaul base for TWA/American, one closed terminal and two dysfunctional operating terminals. With downtown MKC location, it would be a hell of a lot closer for all the passengers using it, (south of the river passengers).
Besides being at risk of floods - one of the reasons why TWA moved to build Mid-Continent International the year following the 1951 flood, which swamped Fairfax Airport across the river and would have done the same to KC Municipal had the levees not held - Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport has a main runway that's too short to handle today's biggest jets.

Can someone tell me who enacted the law requiring a public vote on any improvements to KCI, when and why? (Or if this is not a law, what bond issue contained this provision and why?) And why can't the law be repealed, or the bonds retired early?
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