Thursday, January 24, 2019
NEWSFLASH!!! NEW KCI REMAINS STALLED AS GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN EXTENDS KANSAS CITY WAIT TIME!!!
Today's airport meeting attempted to blame shift the ongoing impasse betwixt airlines and the developer.
More to the point . . .
ARE MAYOR SLY AND NEW AIRPORT FANBOYS TRYING TO PASS THE BUCK ON NEW KCI FAIL TO PREZ TRUMP?!?!
Given the recent approval ratings of the Commander-In-Chief, that's not a bad plan.
And so, a special thanks that THIS KICK-ASS KANSAS CITY INSIDER for an airport round-up share of today's hot mess . . . Read more:
KCMO AC MEETING: CUTENESS UPDATE!!!
The Aviation Committee psychodrama continued a dismal trend. With only one exception, City Council members failed again to ask exactly why the new airport is a drifting black hole of credibility. It isn’t clear why Council members’ brains are helpless bystanders. Failure to do their homework? Fear they might expose the truth?
The pending environmental assessment (EA) is an example. Until the EA is fully signed off, no construction, no bond money. So where, exactly, are the necessary signatures? In the opening minute of the meeting, Pat Klein, Aviation Director, revealed that nothing has changed with the EA since the last meeting of the Aviation Committee. Here is where the devil is humping the status quo. We learned at the last AC meeting the the EA requires seven signatures, two of which were (are apparently) still MIA.
Here’s what nobody on the Council was quick enough and/or ballsy enough to ask today and why it matters: Who, exactly, has signed at this point? Since the Council isn’t asking and the airport isn’t saying, let’s do a little detective work here at TKC. We know there are seven parties who must sign, including the FAA, the City, State Historic Preservation Office, Kaw Nation, Osage Nation, Pawnee Nation and Ponca tribe. Who are the hold outs at this point and why? Two signers seem like a no-brainer, the City and the SHPO, both of which accepted the EA months ago. The local FAA office seems a likely third signer because it conducted the EA. Who does that leave unsigned? Any way you slice this, it looks like at least one of the Native American tribes has not signed. If that’s true, why not?
The EA report stipulates that the airport will monitor construction in case it encounters buried archaeological deposits and/or unmarked human graves. Federal law and the SHPO say the airport must do this. However, a dispute has arisen over exactly how much archaeological monitoring should be done. The EA calls only for monitoring ground disturbance around the new terminal building, but others are calling for looking at all ground disturbance, including new access roads, utilities trenches, areas where fill may be mined, etc. Is one or more parties holding out for an expanded monitoring plan? If so, is this like the clash with Native Americans over the Dakota Access Pipeline? Or is it some other problem with the EA? We don’t know, but shouldn’t the Council be trying to find out what’s jamming up the EA and let the rest of us know what’s going on?
Today’s three-card monte focused on food courts and premium lounges. Happier topics, certainly, than reminding everyone that nobody knows when roadblocks like the EA or the airlines’ lease and use agreement will be cleared.
The feel-good climax of today’s meeting was revelation that artwork will be chiseled out of the floor of existing terminals to be cemented into the walkways of the new terminal. This, you see, will allow kids to play the KCI equivalent of Pokemon Go, running around the new terminal looking for old bits of art bling. This was described as bringing a world-class airport experience to KC. Marvelous. Who can doubt travelers from Jakarta to Berlin lust for their kids to wander KCI corridors looking for obscure bits of art sunk into the floors. Councilwoman Heather Hall was the only adult in the room cruel enough to snap everyone out of cute, reminding that until things like the EA and airlines agreement are done, all we have at this point is diversionary cuteness.
Check the links:
Fox4KC: Terrazzo floors will be reused in new KCI Terminal
KCUR: Federal Shutdown Holds Up KCI Terminal Approvals, So Council Checks Out Some Design Ideas
FT: US airports start to feel the strain of the government shutdown
Developing . . .