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Friday, April 05, 2013

What? No Citizen Vote to Spend A Billion-Plus on A New KC-MO Airport?

Without a citizen vote- the Ruling Class of KC-MO (RCKC) is attempting to shove a costly remake of flyer-economical Kansas City International airport down taxpayer's throats.

That's right- KC's glitz-struck pollys want to rebuild one of the most passenger-convenient airports in America.

Just a little review- the price tag to BUILD KCI in the late 1960's-early 1970's was around $250-million.

Because of cost overruns and union difficulties- that price was $100-million higher than the $150-million in airport bonds KC-MO voters approved in 1966.

A complete renovation of the three circular terminals and new parking structures completed in 2004 cost $258-million- all figures courtesy of WikiPedia.

Total cost to build KCI and the subsequent renovations: $508-million.

Current cost estimate to demolish the three circular terminals and replace it with a single- huge terminal: $1.2-BILLION.

The main RCKC reasons cited for spending more than a billion dollars on a single airport (while city infrastructure crumbles)  terminal are:

1) The individual boarding gates in the three terminals each require their own security (TSA Gestapos-TSAG) and-

2) Passengers awaiting their flights have to leave secured areas to obtain food- drink- or shop for touristy frou-frou- then re-enter the TSAG checkpoints.

Let's do some simple math and employ some very inexpensive logic on both of the above RCKS selling points.

1) Security (TSAG) cost. Currently- one can get to KCI no less than 30 minutes before their flight departs- go through the TSAG checkpoints- and still have anywhere from 10-20 minutes before the plane leaves.

There are 90 gates at KCI- maybe 70 of those are currently in use.

For the sake of generosity however- let's use all 90 gates with five TSAG agents assigned to each gate (450 agents- I'll add 50 more to make it 500). 

Let's make the average pay for an agent $40K per year (current starting wages are about $33K yearly).

That's a $2-million annual payroll for TSAG agents- it would take 50 years to reach just $100-million in TSAG costs- 500 years to reach one billion dollars.

2) KCI is not a hub airport- so we don't have many passengers waiting around for connecting flights. Most of us who use KCI do so as it's intended purpose- AN AIRPORT- not a shopping or dining experience (with inflated prices).

Proponents of a 'new' KCI say that various airport fees will pay for the $1.2 ($2.5B after overruns)-billion cost- claiming "no taxpayer dollars will be used."

This is pure- unadulterated BS.

Who pays those added fees (taxpayers-goodbye cheap airfares)?

I say the RCKC put this VERY expensive proposal to a vote by the CITIZENS of KC-MO.

Otherwise- put that $1.2-billion toward INFRASTRUCTURE (roadwork- curbs- sidewalks- water mains- sewers- public safety- etc.) and TRULY make this city livable.


Anonymous said...

KCMO is a joke anymore.

Groucho K. Marx said...

Heh- as soon as Dad goes- I'm leaving.

Anonymous said...

Nice over here where I live, peace and quite but 6 minutes up the four lane and you're back in it all.

Groucho K. Marx said...

Ms. Rittenhouse has bought her a nice country-like place in Cass county that awaits me.