Monday, October 16, 2017
TKC EXCLUSIVE!!! ON THE RECORD: ENGINEER WARNS OF SECURITY RISKS IN KANSAS CITY NEW AIRPORT DESIGN!!!
We mostly quote anonymous sources and political chatter on this blog but a recent document sent our way has vital information sent with the utmost concern for the safety of all Kansas City residents that deserves to be properly disclosed.
Charles Cammack has been working on a new airport design and in his latest missive, his findings are shocking and serve as warning about the high stakes of a new airport.
To wit . . .
CHECK THIS OPEN LETTER TO MAYOR AND COUNCIL CLAIMING THAT KANSAS CITY'S NEW AIRPORT DESIGN IS EVEN MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO TERRORISM!!!
He makes the the assertion with years of experience and citing real world examples, here is his argument:
Charles Cammack: KCI - Security Risks for New Single Terminal Airport
In March, 2016, I sent an email message to Councilwomen Justus and Loar as well as Mr. Jade Liska of the Aviation Department that included a description of how terrorists could easily attack the planned single terminal airport. Six days later, terrorists carried out that exact plan at the airport in Brussels, Belgium killing many people. At the time, I did not know how the single terminal airport at KCI would be designed. Now that I see Edgemoor's initial rendering, I see yet another method that is far more destructive than the one described in 2016.
Edgemoor's initial renderings show a multi-story parking garage adjacent to a fancy, two-level glass-and-steel single terminal building. This arrangement will provide terrorists with a rich, compact target and conditions very suitable for mayhem. The bridge deck and lower roadway will form the cannon barrel, the gap between the parking garage and terminal will serve as the breach, and the multi-level parking garage will serve as the breach block. Terrorists can deliver very large quantities of explosives to the breach in a vehicle, then either detonate them immediately or abandon the vehicle and detonate them remotely. The blast will be directed into the terminal and will carry glass throughout most of the terminal. Few people inside the main terminal will escape this terrible attack.
An explosion inside the terminal would blow glass outward. An explosion in the barrel would blow glass into the terminal. You should realize that you are planning to build a cannon aimed at the planned terminal.
Since the plan is to construct a glossy, vulnerable single terminal with a single checkpoint, the target will be "rich".
An explosion in the breach would likely destroy at lest one span of the bridge in front of the terminals. It my understanding that such an event would essentially shut down the airport for a long time. I presented this question orally to the City Council on May 25, 29017 (in so many words): "How will the bridge be repaired and how can the airport continue to function during the repair?" As far as I know, the City Council has not provided responses to any questions from the public.
ALT 30 calls for renovation of Terminals A and B. Four checkpoints will be located inside the two reinforced concrete terminals; thus, there will be no large concentrations of people at the four checkpoints. The adjacent garages are currently located entirely below grade. Under ALT 30, one additional level of garage will rise above grade, but there will be no roadway deck to contain and direct a blast that occurs on the roadway. The reinforced concrete walls of the terminals will provide substantial resistance to such a blast. Yes, the windows will be blown in, but much of the blast will be directed upward away from the terminal and will not likely extend to the aircraft.
If a terrorist transports explosives into a terminal extension, the blast will largely destroy the extension and will injure or kill many people in the extension, but the existing terminal should be protected by its reinforced concrete walls. The glass will be blown outward away from people inside the extension.
The renovated terminals will not be a "rich" target either in terms of people or place, and the undamaged terminal and extensions can continue to function.
Since KCMO is already committed to placing the issue before the voters in November, these concerns will probably not be presented to voters. I will not communicate these concerns to the public at large. However, this information is being sent to Mr. Dan Coffey of the Citizens for Responsible Government. A meeting is scheduled for October 18 in which Mr. Coffey will discuss (debate?) the airport issues with Councilwoman Jolie Justus and City Manager Troy Schulte. While specific safety issues such as the one described herein will not be discussed, all parties taking part in those public discussions should be aware of the potential risks involved. No one should release this information to the general public, but I do authorize you to acknowledge receipt of this description of this security weakness in the single terminal airport design.
One of my goals in this effort is to help Kansas City obtain a better, safer airport than we have now. I also seek to reap a financial gain by selling a license to use the information contained in my ALT 30 plans. You may fault me for using this safety concern for my personal gain. However, I must communicate this risk to you. Sadly, all of the architectural and engineering drawings for the Hyatt Regency Hotel were placed in my hands late in the afternoon of 17 July 1981 in the form of a 7-inch diameter roll of full-sized Mylar sheets. I held the only set of those drawings in KC. I walked beneath the Skywalks that afternoon from south to north and north to south, but never saw that the ceiling above my head was actually a bridge. I took the drawings to my office, placed them on my desk, then went home with the plan that I would open up the roll of drawings the following Monday. The Skywalks collapsed that evening killing 113 people, including the father of a friend. I had sufficient education, knowledge and experience to identify the faulty structural connection, but no one would have held me responsible in the least for not detecting the problem at that time. Nevertheless, guilt fell upon me like a lead pall and remained there for nearly one year. Based on that experience and several others in my life, I cannot remain silent when I recognize a threat. In addition, I am at least morally bound, as a licensed professional engineer, to make known any such risks to responsible parties. This risk is now known to you.
As an FYI, I have attached an addendum to my ALT 30 plans that show three important improvements. The original ALT 30 plan set and the addendum will be presented to the public through a new facebook page (alt30kci).