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The New KCI Airport is Spectacular

by Suzanne Licata

The new single terminal at KCI emerging north of the river has endless data points that astound. Among them:

  • It is the largest single infrastructure project in Kansas City’s history.
  • Its budget is $1.5 billion which is nearly $1 million a day over the five-year development schedule.
  • To date, it is on time and on budget.


“It is amazing to me that we are halfway through this project, 18 months into a pandemic and KCI is on schedule and budget, even with all the supply chain issues and rising materials costs experienced across all industry sectors,” said Ellen Todd, president and CEO of Curry Real Estate Services.

Todd and other members of the Curry team were treated to a tour of the new KCI in August, led by Jade Liska, deputy director, planning and engineering division, aviation department of Kansas City, Missouri. Years ago, prior to taking on the chairperson role of the Northland Chamber, Todd reached out to Liska for help in getting a grasp of all the development planned or underway in the northland.

“He said, ‘Let’s go on a field trip’ and took the time to drive me all over the northland pointing out projects and how they connect to what was already in place or planned,” said Todd. “He is so knowledgeable and certainly so on KCI’s new terminal.”

Curry team members remarked on a number of the emerging project’s attractive attributes – its open and airy architecture, the modern look and feel and its convenience in parking, gate access and passenger drop off and pick up.

“We asked what if anything had changed in the design as a result of the pandemic,” said Brynn McCan, Curry vice president, executive administration. “Jade mentioned the evaluation of options that would allow for less human interaction such as more kiosks for self-check in, restaurants with carry-out sections and ways to minimize standing in line.”

Todd reminded the team of the role the Northland Chamber and community played in getting approval for the new single terminal over the finish line. “There were a lot of naysayers,” she said. “We advocated for it in Jefferson City and in Washington, D.C. It was a huge effort.”

In November 2017, Kansas City, Missouri, voters overwhelmingly approved construction of the single terminal airport with 76 percent in favor. The terminal will open in 2023 in time for Kansas City to host the 88th annual NFL Draft.


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