Southwest Airlines top boss: ‘KCI prohibits growth’

Kansas City Mayor Sly James, who finds himself in the final stretch of a nearly six-year quest for a single terminal at KCI, got a bit of help from Southwest Airlines top executive Gary Kelly on Friday, who made his own pitch for the project.

“Kansas City deserves the opportunity to grow and the airport prohibits growth,” said Kelly, chief executive and chairman of Southwest Airlines. He spoke before a gathering of 1,700 businesspeople at the Kansas City Area Development Council’s annual meeting at the Kansas City Convention Center.

Kelly and James shared the stage to make a push to business leaders to approve a $1 billion single terminal at KCI, which Kansas City voters will decide at the polls on Nov. 7.

Civic and business leaders have joined City Hall in its desire to see KCI’s terminal system overhauled; they say the airport that opened in 1972 is inefficient and gives a poor first impression to out-of-town travelers.

Political and corporate titans have sought to persuade skeptical Kansas City voters to support a new terminal in an election that figures to be close.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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