Henderson Welcomes #BetterKCI Guest Speakers

On Oct. 23, Henderson Engineers hosted Tim Cowden, president of the Kansas City Area Development Council, and Justin Meyer, deputy director of aviation – marketing and air service development for the Kansas City Aviation Department for an exciting conversation about the proposed new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

Henderson invited Tim and Justin to come speak to employees to give them a chance to learn more about the proposed changes at KCI before the upcoming vote on the new terminal on Nov. 7. As its corporate headquarters are in Kansas City, Henderson knows first-hand the challenges faced by travelers coming through KCI.

“Our employees travel a lot. In fact, on any given day, 10 percent of our workforce is in the air,” said President and CEO Rich Smith. “Whether they are traveling to job sites, client meetings, or just one of our other offices, 74 percent of their flights go through KCI. We felt it was important to allow our employees to get their questions answered leading up to this vote as we know our staff and our families will use KCI for generations to come.”

With more than 175 in attendance from both our Lenexa, Kansas headquarters and Kansas City, Missouri office, Tim and Justin presented the benefits A Better KCI would bring to Kansas Citians and other travelers coming through KCI.

Chock full of airline industry facts and history, the presentation dispelled many common misconceptions about the proposed terminal changes before wrapping with a question and answer session. During the presentation, the duo addressed benefits the new single terminal would bring, including increased flight access and destinations, overall economic growth for the region, increased convenience and amenities at the airport, and improved security and technology.

The presentation also highlighted how the current KCI three terminal layout does not meet contemporary, regulatory, or industry demands. KCI opened in 1972, which predates airline deregulation and consolidation, post-Sept. 11 TSA security requirements, larger jet aircraft, etc. A new terminal has the potential to increase nonstop flights in and out of KCI.

“The airlines want to add more flights to KC, but say they won’t due to passenger holding area restrictions and the overall experience of travelers coming through KCI,” Justin shared. “We are the largest airport that doesn’t separate our arrival and departure traffic. That creates crowded waiting area when multiple flights are arriving and taking off at the same time.”

The biggest misconception addressed by the presentation was the fear that tax-payers would end up covering the cost of the new terminal.

“Airport dollars stay at the airport,” Justin explained. “If you don’t use the airport, you don’t pay for the airport.”

If the vote passes on Nov. 7, the new terminal would create an estimated 8,000+ construction jobs in the region, help attract more companies and better talent to call KC home, increase flight options through KCI, and offer out-of-town visitors an improved impression of Kansas City as a world-class city with a unique culture and vibrant, growing population.

“For the last 50 years, our airport has taken Kansas City to the world,” said Tim. “In the next 50 years, we want our airport to bring the world to Kansas City.”

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