Kansas City seeks bids for $1bn airport modernisation

A locally based engineering firm had been in talks over the project but the US city has decided to launch a competitive bidding process.

Kansas City has released a request for proposals to build and finance a $1 billion single-terminal airport after multiple firms expressed interest in the project.

The plan to modernise Kansas City International Airport, long favoured by Mayor Sly James, would see the project financed through private investment and paid for by airport user fees. A plan brought forward earlier this year by Kansas City-based engineering consultancy Burns & McDonnell would have seen the firm tasked with designing and building the redeveloped airport while leading a team of investors to finance the scheme.

But James said he received a letter from Los Angeles-based AECOM last month expressing interest in competing for the project. On 30 May, the city opened a solicitation process; proposals were initially due 20 June, but that deadline has been pushed back to 27 July.

“Our airport is the most vital investment we make in order to share our city with the world,” James said. “And now we know firms are ready to compete to make our airport as world-class as our city.”

The company or group selected will enter into discussions with the city to reach a memorandum of understanding. If approved by the city council, the plan will be brought before voters in a November referendum. The RFP asked for proposals to design a 750,000 square foot terminal with at least 35 gates along with a 6,500-spot parking garage.

The city explored the idea of building a new terminal last year, but James put the plan on hold last May due to public opposition.

KCI saw approximately 11 million passengers in 2016.