Kansas City celebrates a Super Bowl berth and new airport terminal

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  • Published on February 1, 2023
  • Last Updated May 15, 2023
  • In Places

Kansas City is opening a new inclusive airport terminal, ascending to the list of one of the most accessible in the country.

The year 2023 is starting out strong for Kansas City. In addition to the Chief’s locking in their spot at the Super Bowl for the third time in six years, the city is also scoring a huge win for inclusivity. On February 28th, Kansas City will be opening a brand-new one-million-square-foot airport terminal with accessibility-awareness intently in mind.

Some features include a sensory room, all-gender restrooms with adult-sized changing tables, and an “airplane simulation room” enabling travelers to practice going through security and boarding a real aircraft. The Kansas City Terminal (MCI) will be one of the most inclusive in the U.S. with an added focus on accessibility.

Tim Cowden, president and CEO at the Kansas City Area Development Council stated, “This state-of-the-art terminal boasts inclusive spaces and extensive upgrades, which will support our ongoing efforts to attract new business and talent to the region.”

The new terminal will also be beneficial in upcoming years for fans to arrive in what is known as “the Heart of America” for various sporting events, including March Madness, the NFL Draft, and the World Cup that the city will be hosting in four years.

The facility includes an expanded parking lot with 6,100 spaces, 15 family restrooms, 10 dedicated infant-feeding rooms, a family play zone, indoor/outdoor pet relief areas, meeting spaces, all-glass passenger jet bridges and more.

A New Home For Modern Art

Over 25 area artists have been commissioned to display their work throughout the airport. Artist Wille Cole features a dozen larger-than-life birds hung from the ceiling that are made from alto saxophones. Cole said the piece is a tribute to Kansas City native Charlie Parker.

JT Daniels whose graffiti murals can be seen all over the city will showcase three of his pieces in the new terminal. With over $6 million worth in art, this is described as the largest art project in the city’s history.

The new terminal will operate 40 gates and has the capacity to expand to 50. Delta Air Lines is adding a Sky Club Lounge inside KCI for its qualifying customers and Southwest Airlines plans to add more flights.

“We’re thrilled to usher in a new era of air travel for the Kansas City community as the new terminal brings remarkable upgrades and enhancements for travelers and employees who work at the airport,” said Steve Sisneros, vice president of airport affairs at Southwest Airlines.

He also added, “As the airline with the most flights from Kansas City, we’re looking forward to connecting travelers to the people and places important in their lives through the world-class facilities that will soon serve as the region’s new front door. We appreciate the dedication and partnership of the Kansas City Aviation Department and the vision of Kansas City to build a terminal the city can be proud of for decades to come.”

Director of aviation, Pat Klein, said in a statement, “As we approach the finish line, I can’t help but thank the stakeholders who’ve contributed greatly and the residents of the entire region for their ongoing support.”

Whether or not they take home the Super Bowl trophy, Kansas City will certainly be taking the win with their new airport terminal.

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