The runway is cleared, the landing gear is down, and the descent to an on-time landing has begun. After years of planning and building, the new MCI airport is in its final stages and on schedule to open in March.
The largest single infrastructure project in the city’s history, the new terminal is over a million square feet, with detail paid to every inch. From the Missouri-sourced hemlock wood ceiling and the addition of wireless charging pads and outlets at every seat by the gates to the representation of local artists and inclusive additions such as sensory rooms and multi-gendered bathrooms, the facility is a massive upgrade from our old Atomic Era airport.
Here’s a look at the airport by the numbers:
Feet from the farthest parking spot in the main lot to the door of the ticketing area. That distance could fit four Delta Boeing 737-800 aircraft from wingtip to wingtip, but it’s nothing compared to most airports.
Consolidated TSA lanes for security screening, with room for an additional two lanes during busy times. The TSA says having lanes consolidated to one location will increase efficiency and reduce wait times.
Additional gates, each with climate-controlled ceiling-to-floor glass passenger boarding bridges—unlike any terminal in the U.S. These glass aisleways will allow passengers to see a 360-view of the outside airfield and even wave to the pilots in the cockpit of their plane. This differs from the previous enclosed boarding bridges made of uninsulated metal that were known to add to the pre-flight stress of passengers.
Concessions that feature local businesses and brands, including the City Market Food Hall, Meat Mitch and Parisi Coffee. Once through security, all passengers can free-roam through the concourse as they make their way to their gate.
Dollars spent on art, equally one percent of the entire budget for the new terminal. Per city ordinance, large development projects must allocate one percent of their budget to art. Out of the budget, the terminal will represent 28 artists, such as Willie Cole’s sculpture “Ornithology.” It will include twelve larger-than-life birds made from alto saxophones and will hang from the ceiling as a tribute to the KCK native, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker.
Lounges available within the new terminal for exclusive members. The first is for the Delta Sky Club in their reserved 11,000-square-foot Sky Lounge with a view of the airfield. The other, the USO lounge, is for all six branches of the military. It will provide complimentary food and comfort for our traveling servicemen and women.
Baggage claim carousels, all consolidated to the bottom floor. All eight will be distributing passenger bags just down the steps from the arrivals area. This differs from the five carousels in each of the old terminals that required passengers to walk farther and wait longer to grab their bags.
Pet relief locations for pets on the go, fitted with green grass and a fire hydrant to feel right at home.
Fully stocked bathroom facilities in total—three times as many as the other two terminals—with male, female and non-gendered options. Each block of restrooms includes a family restroom stall, nursing stations, changing rooms and water bottle filling stations. Above each bathroom stall is a light that changes from green to red—unoccupied and occupied, respectively—removing the uncertainty of an empty stall and the awkward door pull.
Inlaid mosaic medallions from the original Terminal A that were removed before demolition and will be placed throughout the new terminal, including at each of the 39 gates. These 40 mosaics are unique circular pieces of art that will bring a touch of vibrant color to the terrazzo flooring of the concourse.