With the consolidation of the airline industry, addition of new carriers in the Kansas City marketplace, and larger, more-full aircraft, the security checkpoint, departure lounge, and baggage claim areas serving Allegiant, American, Frontier, and Spirit customers became extremely congested at various times of the day. An enhancement project taking place in Terminal C at KCI will offer many benefits to airline passengers flying on the listed airlines as well as the airlines themselves.
Now mostly open for operation is the newly designed nine-gate departure lounge and new inbound baggage claim area, which will put more square footage where it is needed the most – inside the departure lounge and around baggage claim.
Currently American Airlines must operate out of three separate departure lounges in order to achieve its need for six gates. This project puts all American gates together, which gives the airline the ability to manage aircraft swaps and gate changes with little impact to the customer. Previously, passengers occasionally had to exit and reenter security with a gate change or, at times, find themselves standing in the wrong security line serving their departure gate.
The expanded security checkpoint features four total lanes of security, which includes two dedicated TSA PreCheck lanes. The project will add a sit-down dining option post-security near gate 76 as well as a newly constructed Starbucks. Additionally, the airport's first water bottle refill station was installed in the departure lounge.
There will be 33 percent more restroom facilities post-security for passengers served by the listed airlines. To comply with federal guidelines for adding certain amenities and features in new airport construction and renovation, the airport's first dedicated room for nursing mothers was constructed post-security as well as a dedicated service animal relief area.
Work on the phased project began in October 2016. The first milestone was the American Airlines bag claim which opened in January 2017. The four-lane security checkpoint will open in April 2017. Final completion of the project will occur in June 2017.
Other recent enhancements at Kansas City International Airport include brighter interior lighting, improved wayfinding/rental car signage, added seating with electrical outlets, improved free WiFi speed and coverage, electric vehicle charging stations, and relocated cell phone waiting lot.
The Kansas City Aviation Department is an Enterprise Fund Department of the City of Kansas City, Mo., and is supported wholly by airport user charges. No general fund tax revenues are used for the administration, operation, maintenance or promotion of the airports in the system. Visit flykci.com for more information. Find us on Twitter and Facebook.