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Wichita Mid-Continent Airport can't serve alcohol for now because of lapsed liquor license

WICHITA — Sometimes people who are traveling by plane want a quick drink before take-off or immediately upon landing.

But they can't have one at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport right now.

HMSHost, which handles food and beverage service at the airport, inadvertently let its liquor license expire.

"In the transition from using an outside counsel . . . to now an in-house legal team, we simply missed the deadline to renew," says Susan Goyette, spokeswoman for the Bethesda, Md., company.

There have been no alcohol sales at the airport since the license expired Feb. 28. This is the only HMSHost market where the lapse happened.

"It's expired — it has not been lost," Goyette says. "Semantics there are pretty important."

HMSHost immediately reapplied to the city and state.

"The city has approved their portion of the license, and we're waiting on the state approval,” Goyette says.

That typically is a 30-day process. It could happen earlier.

For people who want a drink and have some extra time before a flight, HMSHost is referring them to free shuttles to the Hilton Wichita Airport.

"They don't have to go too far," Goyette says.

"We've had a few people who have voiced their displeasure, but for the most part most people understand the importance of a liquor license," Goyette says.

"We are going to get it back.”