The Report The Airport Advisory Group Doesn't Want You To See

Granted, that is a cliché title, but we can defend it. Twice, Show-Me Institute staff reached out to the Kansas City Airport Terminal Advisory Group (ATAG) about incorrect claims they were making in their presentations. We know from an open records request that they received our offer, considered it, and then ignored it while trying not to seem like they were ignoring it.

Airport Terminal Advisory Group Decides To Make A Recommendation

Despite a recent interview stating the contrary, the MCI Airport Terminal Advisory Group (ATAG) will make a recommendation on the proposed $1.2 billion new terminal plan for Kansas City International Airport (MCI). On May 7, the group is expected to advise whether officials should build a new terminal, renovate the existing terminals, or build a new central building to connect the three terminals.

Terminals For T-Shirts

Over the weekend, the Kansas City Star quoted me in an article regarding concessions at Kansas City International Airport (KCI). The article reported:
Even if Kansas City builds a new terminal and begins to perform as well as peer airports in raising retail revenues, conservative policy analyst Joseph Miller calculated the airport should only expect another $1 million or $1.5 million per year in extra funds.

Show-Me Institute Research Discussed On Ruckus

On Thurs., April 3, the Show-Me Institute’s research about the Kansas City streetcar and the proposed $1.2 billion new terminal plan for Kansas City International Airport (MCI) was featured prominently on the program Ruckus. That program aired on public television station KCPT-TV in Kansas City. Show-Me Institute Board Chairman Crosby Kemper III argued that both the new airport terminal plan and the streetcar are wasteful projects, the result of Kansas City becoming a “fact-free city.”

Airport Advisory Group Not Really Interested In Input

A previous post detailed the Kansas City Airport Terminal Advisory Group's effort to avoid open records laws in their meetings with Kansas City public officials. This post deals with the group's unwillingness to even hear from those skeptical of a new terminal. On Jan. 30, I wrote the following email to Airport Terminal Advisory Group leaders Bob Berkebile and David Fowler:

The Kansas City International Rehab Roller Coaster

The Kansas City Aviation Department often has attempted to justify its plan for a $1.2 billion terminal for Kansas City International Airport (MCI) by claiming that repairing the existing terminals would also be extremely expensive. The logic is that if both options will be expensive, the better option is a new terminal that cuts costs and brings in new revenue. We have often asked how much these repairs would cost and when they would be needed, as any comparative cost analysis requires those two pieces of information.

Next Wednesday: A Public Discussion About Kansas City International Airport

As the Kansas City Business Journal reported, Kansas City’s City Council recently passed an ordinance that requires a public vote on any proposal that would demolish or replace the current terminal structure at Kansas City International Airport. The ordinance also bars the use of public dollars to campaign for or against any future proposal.

Kansas City Airport Officials Decide To Do Their Job

In an agreement emanating from the Kansas City City Council, according to the Kansas City Star:
Aviation officials and the eight airlines serving Kansas City pledge to collaborate over the next two years on plans for airport terminal improvements. The agreement, with council approval, would take effect May 1 and sets the stage for both sides to work together on a project the public can embrace.

Separate Facts From Straw Men In Debate About Kansas City Airport

A recent editorial published in the Kansas City Star asks the people of Kansas City to separate facts from emotion in the debate about adopting the Aviation Department’s $1.2 billion new terminal plan for Kansas City International Airport (MCI). However, the writer at the Kansas City Star would do well to avoid straw men in writing about the debate.

Airlines Wary Of New Airport Terminal In Kansas City

Yesterday, representatives from Southwest Airlines, on behalf of the four major airlines operating out of Kansas City International Airport (MCI), gave testimony to the Kansas City Airport Terminal Advisory Group concerning plans to build a $1.2 billion terminal. Their statements regarding the viability of the current structure, the cost of a new terminal, and the impact of the new terminal’s cost on MCI’s competitiveness should prompt Kansas City officials to go back to the drawing board.

Who Is Alicia Stephens And Why Should Kansas City Care?

Alicia Stephens is the executive director of the Platte County Economic Development Council (EDC), described on its website as "a nonprofit organization [founded] to promote economic development in Platte County, Missouri." Stephens also is a member of the Kansas City Airport Terminal Advisory Group, appointed by Kansas City Mayor Sly James to advise the City Council about the Aviation Department's desire to build a $1.2 billion new terminal.

Discussion Of New Kansas City Airport Terminal More Manipulation Than Debate

Anyone who participated in debates in high school or college knows that controlling the framework of the argument is the key to winning. If you can get your opponents to accept your assumptions, reduce the available alternatives to your position, and control the discourse, then victory is almost assured. It appears that the Kansas City Aviation Department officials are using these tactics to push through their preferred terminal option while feigning an open discussion. Below is an analysis of how they have controlled the argument with these tactics.