Kansas City’s New Airport Terminal Is a Glimpse at the Future of Air Travel

Garrett Gardner

Just two months right after celebrating its Super Bowl LVII win, Kansas City is providing locals an additional big motive to beam with delight: a shiny new $1.5 billion airport terminal.

Following more than five decades of setting up and construction, Kansas City Global Airport (MCI)’s single terminal formally opens on February 28—replacing the airport’s outdated trio of Brutalist concrete terminals, which had been in operation since 1972. The initial MCI opened about a thirty day period ahead of the FAA begun mandating actual physical screenings of travellers in January 1973 (aka the dawn of metal detectors and baggage scanners), so the airport hardly ever seriously built logistical feeling in conditions of safety processes, cafe placement, and square footage.

The new terminal, on the other hand, is accurately what you would assume from an airport in 2023. There are individual levels for curbside departures and arrivals. There are Clear kiosks and designated TSA PreCheck traces. A Delta Sky Club is accessible for individuals with prolonged layovers. And apart from a Dunkin’ Donuts counter at the principal entrance, all of the restaurants and bars can be found right after the protection checkpoints. (Seemingly fundamental options, of course, but types you wouldn’t have located in the 3 aged terminals.) 

Artwork installations in the new terminal

Clark Weitz Clarkson

Inclusivity at the forefront

But the upgraded MCI does a lot extra than examine a few regular boxes—it shows what an airport really should appear like past 2023. All through the complete structure method, the Kansas City Aviation Department worked closely with area companies like The Whole Particular person, Range KC, and Dementia Welcoming KC to guarantee the terminal was as completely inclusive as doable. (“We considered ADA regulations to be just the commencing point,” claimed Justin Meyer, deputy director of aviation at the Kansas City Aviation Department, all through a media tour final week.)

Every data and test-in counter is set at ADA-compliant heights restrooms element grownup modifying tables (along with toddler modifying tables) and visible paging boards inform deaf passengers of any flight improvements. Along with gendered restroom options, there is also an “all-gender” restroom in the terminal with added attributes to ensure safety and privateness like floor-to-ceiling partitions amongst stalls—a good selection not only for gender-nonconforming travellers, but also anyone traveling with a caregiver of a diverse gender who does not want to individual.

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