Well, here it is.
The airport authority finally made something of their behind-the-scenes plans public today, as most of us know:
Besides the fact that I'm patently, strongly, nearly vehemently against this whole debacle boondoggle ripoff plan, here are a few notes:
First--it's going to cost us--you and I, the people of Kansas City and region who use this thing--$1,200,000,000.
That's 1.2 billion dollars.
Sure, we already have an international airport and we like it fine and it works and everything, in fact, it's very convenient, but no, the Kansas City Airport Authority has a jones for a new airport, a new group of buildings.
And do you know why?
They want to walk away from our existing airport because THE AIRLINES DON'T LIKE THE EXISTING LAYOUT.
With three different terminals, there is the requirement for far more security personnel and checkpoints. They want to cut their costs. This way, if they get a new single terminal airport, they cut their costs. Of course it's easy for the airlines to request--if not demand--this new terminal because hey, you and I, THE PEOPLE END UP PAYING FOR IT. Not the airlines.
Second note--Check this out from the official release today:
"Going forward, the three terminals at KCI do not make sense financially or environmentally..."
Can you believe they would have the chutzpah to say it doesn't make sense environmentally to keep the existing airport?
How do you walk away from an entire airport and all it's main buildings, all the requisite sewage and electrical and all other lines, everything, including the tower and its building and then all the additonal, supporting buildings and structures and construction, including the parking facilities, car rental companies, everything, only to build all new and say that's good environmentally?
In what bizarro, parallel universe does that hold true?
Third note--the Airport Authority claims a new terminal will be "Economic Development and Jobs Catalyst" because "Construction of a new terminal at the airport will be the LARGEST construction project in Kansas City and will create 1,800 new construction jobs."
Seriously, they claim that.
Could we stop this, please? Could we stop with the nonsensical thinking that just because some short-term construction project (like the Keystone XL oil pipeline, for instance) will very temporarily create some construction jobs for a little window of time, that it's a great idea to go forward with a big, honestly stupid, destructive construction project? Please?
Here's something that would create a lot of construction jobs--How about we KEEP THE CURRENT, ALREADY-BUILT KCI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, MAKE TERMINAL B THE ENTRANCEWAY FOR SECURITY AND THEN CREATE RAMPS OUT TO, AGAIN, EXISTING TERMINALS A AND C WHERE WE WOULD BOARD OUR PLANES?
There's your solution, folks. This way, we have the one-entrance we need for security, we create our oh-so-important, if temporary construction jobs and we DON'T THROW AWAY AN ENTIRE AIRPORT AND ALL THE RELATED BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTION ALREADY EXISTING, AS WELL AS CREATING A HUGE, MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR, NEW COST THE PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY?
More empty points the Authority claims today, with their paper:
We'd get "The single terminal will attract more and better dining and retail amenities..."
Who's zooming who here? A) People aren't going to go out to the airport just because we built a new 1.2 billion dollar facility and B) again, more importantly, why couldn't those "more and better dining and retail amenities" not be added to the existing structures?
Answer: they can and should be. There's no reason the Airport Authority can't market the existing facilities for these "more and better dining facilities and amenities now, as is. Heads up: they'd have to work.
They also promise "More and Better Parking" with today's announcement.
Uh, hello? Why?
If we need, in fact, "more and better parking", why wouldn't it already be set to be created around and near the existing facility? It makes no sense at all to start all over again, at a virtual "ground zero", building "more and better parking" at some new facility, miles away. Can you imagine the huge waste of the existing facilities, were this to take place? It's already there, Airport Authority. If we need it, the market will surely already build it. It will come. And it will come as is just as surely, if not more so, as if we start all over again.
The next one is just a sheer, bold-face lie:
Increased Travel Options
The new terminal will include common use gates and open possibilities for additional domestic, international and direct flights that KCI currently can’t accommodate.
How is that? This isn't just a matter of being skeptical or even cynical. Again, if there are markets needed for "additional domestic, international and direct flights," they will most surely be added. How is it, exactly, Airport Authority, that "KCI currently can't accomodate" these flights? It isn't for lack of space because that's surely up there right now. I call nonsense.
Next up, the Authority says we should spend this 1.2 billion dollars on a new facility--and again, walk away from the existing structures--because of the "Innovation" it will bring.
You want to talk "innovation"? Go to the existing KCI Airport, with its beautiful buildings that we already like so much and that are so convenient, thank you very much, and retrofit them with these walkways, as I mentioned above, and then do very "green", environmentally wise and intelligent, cutting edge technology for the energy, electricity, heating and cooling, everything. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, would be "innovative." And you also wouldn't throw away untold millions and billions of dollars worth of facilities that are already there, existing.
Which brings us to the next big, bogus claim by the Authority. They say a new KCI would be wise environmentally.
This is the one that really makes my blood boil. Well, along with the fact that they're basically sticking the huge price tag on the people, for the airlines benefit.
HOW IN HELL DO YOU WALK AWAY FROM AN EXISTING, FUNCTIONING, VERY EFFICIENT AND APPRECIATED AIRPORT, PROPOSE TO BUILD A NEW ONE, BASICALLY THROWING AWAY THAT FACILITY AND ALL THE ONES NEARBY, SUPPORTING IT, BUILD A NEW ONE AND CALL THAT WISE, ENVIRONMENTALLY?
Answer? You can't. Not in this universe. Not anyone who's connected to this reality. That is insane. Insane and a lie.
Here again, they're saying the new airport would be "built to LEED standards."
You know those 1,000 construction jobs they promised us with the new airport they jones for?
Here's your 1,000 construction jobs: Again, retrofit the existing terminal so it's LEED certified. Make the existing facility that much more efficient. THAT makes sense. Huge win, all around.
Then, they save the biggest lie for last. The last reason they give as reason to build a new KCI and walk away from all the existing buildings is...
Wait for it...
The new terminal will save money.
Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is chutzpah of the highest order.
They're saying that building a new, 1.2 billion dollar airport--when we already have one, mind you--and walking away from the existing airport and all its surrounding, auxilary facilities and buildings, is going to cost less than working with the existing facility.
Once again, in what weird, twisted, exotic, bizarro universe is that possible?
Imagine this--you have a beautiful home. (Maybe you already do). You like it and it works well but you want to make improvements. And I don't care if you're a billionaire (we're not), how is it you could walk away from your existing home, build a brand new one and "save money"? Where is that possible? On what planet or in what dimension of existence is that so? I'm not aware of it.
Oh, yeah, these people just got me started. I've covered a bit of the insanity here, now, today but rest assured, I'm going to keep on this.
This is insane.
With thanks to Tony at Tony's Kansas City Blog, check out this link to reporter Mike Mahoney, trying to speak to new airport supporter and City Councilman Russ Johnson:
This is irresponsible to the point of stupid.
Parts of it are boldface lies.
It's extremely wasteful and it's an environmental, ecological nightmare, too, looking to happen.
We need to make sure that this doesn't go forward.
I remember, years ago, when a law firm wanted to buy a beautiful old apartment building on the Plaza. They wanted to raze it and build their own new headquarters.
Not only that, they wanted TIF money, mind you, ON THE PLAZA, no less, to do it. They wanted you and I to foot a significant part of that bill to do it.
That was crazy and selfish and expensive and stupid, too.
But the people stood up, raised heck and said no and it didn't happen.
That's what we need to happen here, on this, now.
Let's get busy, people.
It's hugely expensive, it's environmentally irresponsible, it's wasteful, it's unnecessary and there is no good reason--not one--to do this. it would cost us, the people, in many ways. We shouldn't let this go forward. We must stop this.
Contact your City Council member now:
Make it clear we--you--don't want this.
Thank you, in advance.