Kansas City International Airport

Kansas City
Jackson County

The Kansas City International (KCI) Airport at 1 International Circle in Kansas City was designed by the noted modernist architectural firm of Kivett and Myers and opened in 1972. The unique design reflected Trans World Airlines’ grandiose ambitions and featured an innovative “drive to your gate” design, which allowed for passengers to park nearby and walk roughly 75 feet to any of the gates which were grouped in three round “pods” around the central terminal. This design would come to serve as a prototype for other airports, including the Munich Airport in Germany. The possibility of replacing KCI with a single terminal has been at the forefront of civic discussion for the past several years, but in May of 2016 it was discovered that only 39% of residents supported the new plan, and a public vote for funding the terminal was put on hold. Architectural considerations aside, concerned residents wonder if the quality of construction can be matched in a new facility, and at what cost. Sustainability issues are also a consideration, and the practice of tearing down major facilities every 40 years seems wasteful and imprudent. It is hoped that listing here will increase statewide exposure to the issues at KCI and guide the city toward a realistic and sensitive renovation plan that meets current airline standards.

Listed in 2016.

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