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Historic day for Kansas City International Airport


The first flights will depart from the new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport today, marking the end of a five-year development, design and construction effort and ushering in a new era of air travel in the region.

The 1.1 million-square-foot, design-build project was delivered ahead of schedule and on budget while providing a significant economic boon to the local community.

The new facility, which wholly replaces Kansas City’s existing terminal buildings, features two levels, one for departures and one for arrivals, with clear wayfinding and sight lines, as well as an adjacent 6,200-space parking structure to provide a seamless transition from parking to gate.

Designed with adaptability and expansion in mind, the terminal opens with 40 gates with the capability to expand to 50 gates in the future.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate and constructed by a joint venture team led by Clark Construction Group, and including The Weitz Company, and Clarkson Construction Company (CWC).

The Edgemoor/CWC team, along with the Kansas City Aviation Department, and project designer, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, prioritised community engagement from the project’s outset, hosting hundreds of project presentations and dozens of community design workshops and open house sessions to inform the community about the project and solicit their input on the new terminal’s design and amenities.

The result, they say, is a modern, convenient, sustainable, and inclusive facility that is uniquely Kansas City and meets the diverse needs of travellers in the region.

“This project is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our project management team and trusted trade partners, as well as the ongoing support of the Kansas City community,” said Mark Goodwin, vice president with Clark Construction and project director in charge of the new terminal’s design and construction.

“The input from the community, and meaningful contributions of hundreds of Kansas City-based firms, helped ensure the project will have a lasting positive impact on residents, and on the business community.”

The new terminal’s facilities include the Kansas City Air Travel Experience – an airplane simulation room for anxious, first-time travellers or individuals with a fear of flying – a sensory room, quiet room, indoor and outdoor pet relief areas, the Variety KC Inclusive Family Play Zone, and glass boarding bridges to increase natural light, views of the airfield, and reduce flight anxiety.

The new facility also boasts three times as many toilet fixtures post-security as the current terminals, with options including gender-neutral restrooms and family restrooms with adult changing tables.

Designed to showcase Kansas City’s authentic culture and heart, the terminal features nearly 50 local and global eating and shopping experiences with 80% of the brands represented from the Kansas City region.

The facility also features $5.6 million of newly commissioned art, showcased through 28 unique installations, 19 of which were created by artists who live in, or have ties to, the Kansas City area. The project is the largest One Percent for Art program in Kansas City history.

At $1.5 billion, the new terminal is the largest single infrastructure project in Kansas City history. More than 240 Kansas City-area firms contributed to the project, which generated over 6,500 design and construction-related jobs.

“I am grateful for the partnership with Edgemoor/CWC, and for their commitment to finishing the job ahead of schedule and on budget,” noted Pat Klein, director of the Kansas City Aviation Department.

“Despite the unforeseen challenges of a global pandemic and supply chain shortages, they delivered on their promises, both to the city and to our greater community. This is a truly transformational project, as was promised from the start.”

In addition to meeting the city’s goals for accessibility, inclusivity, and diverse participation, the new terminal is also among the most sustainable airport facilities in the US.

The project, for example, recently achieved LEED Gold certification, making it the first LEED v4 Gold BD+C: NC terminal/concourse project in the Midwest, and the second in the nation.

Sustainable features include locally sourced materials, electric charging stations for personal and commercial vehicles, smart building systems, efficient lighting, and improved air quality.

“Throughout this project, we’ve focused on investing in the economic growth of women and minority-owned businesses, while providing a state-of-the-art new terminal that will redefine standards for air travel,” said Geoff Stricker, Edgemoor senior managing director.

Kansas City is experiencing an exciting period of growth. We are honoured to have delivered this transformative project to meet the evolving needs of the region.”

• Main photo, courtesy of Jeff Roberts, JLR Photo.


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