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JBT AeroTech Glass Bridges at Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ian McMurtry)

Kansas City Gives Greenlight for Glass Jetbridges

As work continues on the new single terminal building at the Kansas City International Airport, the Missouri city’s council has given the greenlight for a very special jetbridge contract. The city council agreed to go forward with a $31.5 million contract with JBT AeroTech Corporation with a max expenditure of $34.6 million being authorized for construction. The airport will install 39 glass jetbridges at the new terminal in the process.

For Kansas City, the move comes as once again airports in the United States become more familiar with utilizing the glass alternative to steel sided jetbridges. Upon completion, the airport will claim the title as the largest glass jetbridge user in the United States as it surpasses the size of the 12-gate structures used in Wichita, Kansas and Huntsville, Ala.

During the city council meeting, Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas noted that airport expenses are not cheap, saying, “Aviation does not bring but many ordinances but when they do, they are big ones.”

Lucas further noted that he was informed the day prior to the vote that the airport requested the glass jetbridges and that the city would claim the title for largest glass jetbridge airport in the United States if the ordinance passed. The airport deal will cost the original $31.5 million for the 39-gate installation plan but does not endure any costs for future fiscal years. The council passed the ordinance at a final vote of 12 votes for, one vote against.

JBT AeroTech will once again be in charge of the installation of glass jetbridges in the United States. The firm has already taken up projects at other airports across the nation, including the nearby 12 gate installation at the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport in 2015. The contract with Kansas City will see the company install the jetbridge as well as connected utilities to the structures including electricity, ground power and air conditioning. Kansas City representatives had visited the Wichita jetbridges during the design phase and questioned Wichita Airport crews about the structures before deciding to opt for glass jetbridges themselves.

Mayor Lucas also announced an early target opening date for the airport on Twitter with a date of March 3, 2023 as a target. This date is important for Kansas City as the town is expected to hold the National Football League’s yearly NFL Draft in front of the Union Station structure downtown. The town is looking to make a strong early impression on the new terminal as the city is riding high off a 2020 Super Bowl win by the local Kansas City Chiefs and the Draft is one of the biggest events that see road fans travel to an NFL event.

The $1.4 billion airport’s construction continues on led by Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate. The contract includes the 39-gate two concourse terminal and neighboring parking garage as well as demolition of the old Terminal A and B concourses. Since the razing of Terminal A, Edgemoor has begun laying the metal outline of the new terminal and begun to see the structure’s H design take shape. The airport allows for progress to be monitored by the public via the BuildKCI Twitter account and BuildKCI.com.

Ian McMurtry
Ian McMurtry
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