Advocates for the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport will find out next week if enough Kansas City voters share their excitement for the project.
However, they contend that failure to approve the roughly $1 billion project likely leaves the existing three-terminal KCI in place for the foreseeable future. The combination of political will, business community buy-in and airline industry support necessary to mount a robust campaign would take years to duplicate, they say.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James, who has less than two years left in office, signaled no willingness to continue the effort. He said there is no Plan B if next week’s election fails.
“If the people of the city vote it down, what am I going to do in 19 months that’s going to change that?” James said. “We’ve said everything that can be said and done everything that can be done. I’m not going to waste any more time on something like that.”
The next steps would depend in large part on how the airlines that serve KCI — who would support the debt generated by a new terminal — would view a loss. The carriers, led by Southwest, told the city they are unwilling to finance a renovation of the 1970s-era horseshoe terminals. But they could always revisit the issue.
Read more: Kansas City Star