Last year, Kansas launched its new international airport terminal and within days, it brought in the first traffic complaint.
Kansas City International Airport opened its new $1.5 billion terminal on Tuesday, with an estimated 30,000 passengers using it daily.
Some drivers say traffic appears to back up while picking them up. Airport police officers could be seen working in that area on Friday.
Russ Steele, who hails from nearby Platte City, wanted to check out the new terminal on Thursday night. He was already there to pick up his wife, but a long line of cars awaited him, as other drivers awaited passengers.
“Traffic was stopped. It was backed up to where the little pond is,” Steele said. “She was departing. I’m afraid she would have missed her flight. We wouldn’t have thought about an hour to go that last half-mile.”
The Kansas City Airport has been made aware of the gridlocked traffic. The airport has requested that there be two queues of cars waiting to be picked up. Most vehicles today stick closely to the curb on the right side of the road. Travelers can use the two lanes on the left side of the road.
The airport’s official spokesman, Joe McBride, knows everyone, including airport employees, is still adjusting to the new KCI terminal. But the problem is made worse by drivers who park on the sidewalk instead of the street. McBride claims that the waiting area is inappropriate because the space is designed for quick loading and unloading.
“If you’re parking at the curb, it slows things down for everybody. If you don’t need to be there, somebody behind you can’t get up there,” McBride said.
According to Kansas City Aviation officials, individuals waiting for arriving passengers are advised to wait in the nearby cell phone lot, situated just a few hundred yards away from the terminal.
Officials have also reported that there are currently no delays in arrivals or departures from the new terminal. Any delays, if present, can be monitored on the airport’s newly launched website.