Thursday, January 10, 2019
TKC EXCLUSIVE!!! TENSIONS FLARE AT CITY HALL AS NEW KANSAS CITY AIRPORT PLANS CONTINUE TO CRASH AND BURN!!!
Here's a more detailed and captivating analysis of today's big meeting than ANYTHING posted by MSM. Checkit:
Awesome TKC Reader: Aviation Committee meeting today
Today’s meeting of the City Council’s Aviation Committee was like a picnic in a field of landmines. Excitement-wise, there was the explosion between Councilman Reed and Councilwoman Loar. Reed was throwing kisses to the airport staff and Edgemoor, gushing about how he’s talking to airline executives about the airport's fabulous work. Councilwoman Loar jumped in at that point (I’m paraphrasing here): Wait a minute Councilman Reed, you’re talking to the airline executives? Who authorized you to do that? Who’s negotiating the airport deal, you or the airport? Reed was visibly not thrilled with Loar’s line of questioning, demanding that she stop interrupting him and to knock of her “combative behavior.” Loar shot back, demanding that Reed provide a list of the airline CEO’s he’s been chatting up. Evidently, trying to figure out what's going on is being "combative." If anybody at the KC Star was able to drag themselves away from lunch long enough to watch this slap fight, the headlines almost write themselves.
“Don’t Worry. The airlines are paying for all of it.” Not yet they’re not. And based on today’s Council show, we have no idea when they might or even if they will. We learned the airport has presented the various airlines with a firm cost for construction of the new airport (ca. $2 billion including bond financing, with a total vig just over 4 billion over 35 years), as well as estimated airline use fees and rents. The big news is that the airlines now take this deal to each of the airlines’ CEOs, shareholders, etc. for a final in-or-out decision. When will each airline decide yes or no? Who knows? We do know the airlines aren't experiencing any excitement to sign this deal.
Then there was the report on the new airport’s environmental study, which must be completed by the feds before any construction can start. We were told part of this deal is a Programmatic Agreement that requires seven signatures to be finalized. Four signatures are in hand, so we were told. We know that four of the required seven signatures must come from American Indian tribes. Are any of these tribes balking on the environmental study? We don’t know. Nobody on the Council was quick enough or gutsy enough to ask the obvious: who’s signed at this point. We also learned that the environmental study can’t be completed until the FAA writes responses to each of the comments made on the environmental study by officials and the public. How many comments are there? We don’t know, it could be hundreds. How long will that take? Anybody got a crystal ball?
Finally, a vote on paying out $72 million in city money to keep the current deal alive has been postponed again. What happens if the Council won’t vote for this payment? I think we all know the answer to that question.
KC Biz Journal: City: As airlines wrestle with deal, there's now no timeline for KCI work
KCUR: Amid Frustration Over Airport Progress, Mayor James Tells Council To ‘Take A Chill Pill’
KSHB: Council questions who's talking to airlines and what they're saying about new KCI
KMBC: KCI Airport project delayed as airlines consider cost of plans
Fox4: New KCI airport project slowly trudging forward despite delays
Developing . . .