NBAA Convention News

Kansas City invests $100M in business aviation development

 - September 19, 2007, 11:40 AM

The Kansas City Aviation Department (Booth No. 6925) plans to break ground this fall on a 20-acre development at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. According to airport authorities, the move is necessary “to keep pace with demand for services from business and leisure operators seeking easy access to Kansas City’s growing downtown residential and business district.”

The new development, known as “T-Town,” will include 102 new hangars, 10 box hangars and 16 tiedown positions, as well as a self-serve fueling station and an outdoor aircraft washing area. An 18,000-sq-ft terminal building will house offices, a pilots’ lounge, meeting rooms, weather center and other amenities.

When complete, the project will mark the end of a multi-year improvement program designed to enhance the safety of aircraft operations, maintain existing airfield facilities and fuel economic growth at the airport, a spokesman said. The project represents an investment of nearly $100 million.

Dedicated by Charles Lindbergh in August 1927, Downtown Airport, as it is commonly known, offers a 24-hour control tower, Category I instrument landing system and a 24-hour FBO. Also available are full aircraft maintenance facilities, hangars, air cargo, aircraft sales, leasing and charter operations, flight training and car rentals.

The airport is less than five minutes from the heart of downtown Kansas City, which is undergoing a major renaissance, said Kansas City aviation director Mark VanLoh. “With more businesses and high-net-worth individuals moving downtown, business and leisure aviators will be seeking greater amenities, and we are preparing [the airport] to take advantage of this emerging demand.”

Downtown Kansas City is in the midst of a $4 billion development, which includes a major expansion to the city’s convention center, construction of a new $183.5 million entertainment district and a $250 million arena. This is in addition to the construction of some 5,300 new housing units.

Downtown Airport is currently celebrating 80 years of aviation, recalling a time when it served as headquarters for Trans World Airlines. As commercial air traffic began to gravitate to Kansas City International Airport in 1972, Downtown began its evolution to one of the country’s busiest aviation airports, VanLoh said.