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New KCI terminal officially opens

The ribbons are cut. Bring on the airplanes.

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Government officials gather to cut the ribbon at KCI.

Photo via Kansas City.

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The ribbon is cut on the new Kansas City International Airport terminal. Officials began activation ceremonies at 9:45 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, lasting until a final security sweep at 5 p.m.

In attendance at the ribbon cutting was KC Mayor Quinton Lucas, former Mayor Sly James, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, US Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, and US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigeig.

The transition

31 airplanes moved overnight from terminals B and C to the New Terminal in preparations for their morning departures.

  • The last departure from the old terminals happens at 10:25 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27 (Kansas City to Chicago).
  • The last arrival to the old terminals was supposed to be from Salt Lake City at 12:38 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, but a delayed flight from San Francisco came in at 1:02 a.m.
  • The first departure from the new terminal happens at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28 (Kansas City to Chicago).
  • The first arrival to the new terminal comes from Chicago at 7:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

The opening comes four days before the previous target date. Airport officials reportedly said the decision was strategic, since Tuesdays have 30% less traffic than Fridays. Crews will have to cut back on the number of flights during the transition, so opening Tuesday actually saves KCI money.

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KCI’s baggage claim courtyard features a dog park and a tribute to the old terminals.

Photo by KCtoday


Timeline: In November 2017, KCMO voters approved construction of a new terminal with 76% in favor. Completion was estimated for 2023 (oh hey, look at that).

Money: The $1.5 billion construction price tag was covered via bonds. KCI will pay off that borrowed money over the next several decades with its revenue (read: no tax dollars).

Project: At more than 1 million sqft, the new terminal is the largest single infrastructure project in KC’s history. It’s also the city’s largest public art display, with a $5.65 million budget.

New Terminal guide

New doesn’t have to mean scary. Use our complete terminal guide to make your first visit a success.