Thursday, January 24, 2019
KANSAS CITY STALLED NEW KCI AIRPORT POINTS OF CONTENTION EXPLAINED!!!
The airport meeting starts in a few moments and right now TKC READERS offer a great list of where the project stands right now coursey of TKC Readers. Checkit:
STALLED NEW KCI UPDATE
Unless you’re a financially or politically incentivized optimist, the new KCI looks like crap on stilts. City hall cheerleaders and their domesticated journalists tell us to stop thinking about lifeboats, go back to sleep, let professionals run the Titanic. Never mind a long list of unforced errors that look anything but normal, unless normal is all the stuff they didn’t think of but we're going to pay for. OK, by local standards maybe that is normal:
Environmental Study - The airport was warned as early as 2016 it would have to do a comprehensive new environmental study, and it wouldn’t happen any time close to fast. The airport went Egyptian on it: Denial. Then it promised everything would be wrapped up by now. In the now you and I live in, now is nowhere in sight.
What are we building? – Where were the detailed specs and maximum price going into this deal? The city basically said: We need a new airport with all the things, somebody sell us one. Despite vaporous ideas about airport design and cost, city overlords were notably specific with voters: It will cost no more than a billion bucks and make KCMO “world class.” World class is presently climbing above four billion dollars and looking like a Dollar General with airliners parked around it.
Airline Competition - Airlines are fiercely competitive. Did it occur to anyone this might complicate playing nice with each other, when it comes to splitting the cost of a new airport totaling billions of dollars? Or that rivals might shiv each other for control of critical equipment like the one and only baggage handling system in the new airport? Eight airlines currently carry most of the passengers at KCI. The airport says it hopes to get at least three to sign the current deal. That sounds like reduced competition on ticket prices.
Bond money? – Voters were endlessly promised no tax dollars will be used to build the new airport. True only if the construction cost is covered by issuing bonds the airlines are willing to pay for. Why hasn't that happened already? No airlines have agreed thus far to pay for bonds totaling over four billion in principal and interest. In the meantime, the city wants to “temporarily” fund the project with taxpayer money. This is the kind of temporarily that happens when your slacker middle-age kid is allowed to move into the spare bedroom.
Rebid the airport? - A big company with a record of major airport construction (AECOM) has notified the city it can build nuevo KCI for one billion less than the contractor working on it now (Edgemoor). Even benchmarked by city hall swindles, that’s real money and considerably closer to the deal promised to voters. What if the airlines want to tap AECOM? Would that detonate a legal fight with potentially ruinous financial penalties for the city, not the airlines, before a single of shovel of dirt gets turned at the new airport? Stay tuned.
Does this look like business as usual? Or a city in way over its head?
Developing . . .