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The new KCI airport design will now have more gates than originally planned to meet demand

Groundbreaking for new airport today

Kansas City officially enters the 21st Century today, according to flying enthusiasts, with the groundbreaking ceremony of the new international airport.

The ceremony, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the former Terminal A.

The new singe-terminal airport will have 39 gates and span just over a million square feet. There will be more shops and restaurants and a brand-new parking garage right across from the terminal.

The price tag is totaled at about $1.5 billion and will be paid for by airlines using the facility and an airport tax on each ticket.

Some frequent flyers have mixed feelings about it.

“I think we have a really good airport now. It’s easy to get around in, and I’m worried that it’ll be a lot more complicated when the new airport comes along. That’s my fear,” Terri Cole said.

“I think it’ll be more convenient. I think it needs it. There’s a lot of deterioration here. I worked on the original phase of the remodels and it was a facelift back then. I think Kansas City really needs a nice, new single terminal,” David Gutierrez said.

When the new airport is complete in 2023, it will replace the current airport which opened in 1972.

Industry experts and even pilots using the current airport say the current structure is outdated and could not meet the demands of either security or passenger numbers in the coming decade.