Kansas City voters overwhelmingly approved a $1 billion new single terminal at the city’s international airport Tuesday night. The plan won by a stunning 75 percent margin in what was previously cast to be a close vote. The election is seen as a major victory for Mayor Sly James, who’s been one of the airport project’s fiercest proponents. He says the industry will now have a state of the art facility from which to expand service.
“The airlines have told us they want to expand here in Kansas City. And in order to do that, they need a new terminal. And that’s exactly what we want to do.”
Backers of the ballot measure stressed that costs for the billion-dollar venture would be covered by fees airlines pay, plus other sources of revenue such as parking.
Opponents, including Republican state House Majority Leader Mike Cierpoit of Lee’s Summit, were skeptical airlines would bring new service and noted the new single terminal would have fewer gates than the existing three horse-shoe shaped buildings.
The ballot measure’s passage caps 6-plus years of fits and stops and political wrangling within the city over a facility considered to be obsolete in some circles.