Four vie for $1bn Kansas City airport P3

The next step for bidders, including AECOM and Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, is to submit financial plans by 10 August.

Proposals are in and four teams of developers have expressed interest in building and financing a $1 billion terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

The four teams to meet the City of Kansas City’s 27 July deadline for proposals include Burns & McDonnel, AECOM, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate and Bluescope Construction. Bidders now have until 10 August to submit plans for how they would finance the construction of a single terminal at KCI, an airport that saw around 11 million passengers in 2016.

Kansas City requested bidders submit proposals to design a 750,000 square foot terminal with at least 35 gates along with a 6,500-spot parking garage. The plan is to modernise KCI through private investment paid for by airport user fees. If the city council approves the winning plan, it will be brought before voters in a November referendum.

The city first explored the idea of building a new terminal last year, but Mayor Sly James put the plan on hold due to public opposition. Then in May, Burns & McDonnell submitted to the city a proposal that would have tasked the firm with designing, building and financing the new terminal.

Burns & McDonnell almost received approval, but AECOM sent a letter expressing interest in competing for the project. An open solicitation process began on 30 May.

State and local governments are increasingly partnering with the private sector to help fund airport upgrades, which can be expensive and complicated projects. Investors consider the assets attractive opportunities that assure long-term cashflows. Some of the US’s largest airports have ongoing PPP projects, such as the $4 billion LaGuardia Airport development and the $5 billion Los Angeles International Airport modernisation.

Last week, Glenn Youngkin, president of The Carlyle Group, a $162 billion investment firm, labeled airports a “top prospect for investing in infrastructure over the near term”.