Wichita to re-evaluate airport plan for terminal

07/03/2010 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 9:58 AM

A plan to build a $150 million terminal building at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is on hold while the city evaluates the financial projections for the project.

"Obviously things have changed with the economy over the last 12 months," said City Manager Robert Layton. "We want to make sure we're on firm ground before we move forward."

A re-evaluation of the data is expected to be completed in about 30 days, Layton said.

In the meantime, plans to build a parking garage at the airport are moving forward.

The parking garage would have space for 1,200 to 1,600 vehicles.

The airport has issued requests for proposals for its design. Officials would then interview and select a design firm. A contract could be signed in August.

Design would take a year and construction another 18 months.

Officials are counting on increased airport traffic to help finance a new terminal to replace the existing 1950s-era terminal.

Traffic at Mid-Continent fell 7 percent last year, but is starting to recover. The number of passengers flying in and out of the airport in the first five months of 2010 has risen 3 percent.

A new terminal would be paid for through passenger fees, facility charges, airport revenue, rents, landing fees and Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Homeland Security grants.

The current building is aging and in need of major repairs.

For example, new Homeland Security requirements have created a need for more behind-the-scenes baggage inspection areas. And electrical, heating and cooling, and other infrastructure needs to be replaced.

The current building also lacks a spacious greeting area for arriving travelers.

A 2003 analysis found that rehabilitating and renovating the current terminal would cost nearly as much as building a new one. In 2006, City Council members scaled back an earlier airport design.

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