Wichita Mid-Continent Airport Terminal Design to Start Soon

Design of a new two-level terminal building at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is slated to begin this year.

The scope of the design contract has been determined, and negotiations are under way with Kansas City-based architectural firm HNTB, said Mike Carter, program manager of DMJM Aviation, the company hired to manage the terminal project.

Carter gave an update of the project at Monday afternoon's meeting of the Wichita Airport Advisory Board.

The design is expected to be completed in late 2007. In the meantime, a comprehensive budget for the project is being developed, Carter said.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires an independent fee estimate done by a firm not involved in the transaction in order to be eligible for FAA grants. Leigh Fisher and Associates, based in San Francisco, is doing the study.

Cost estimates for the project will be completed independently by two firms. One firm will be hired by the architect and another by the airport through DMJM in order to cross-check the numbers.

The project has been estimated at $150 million for the terminal, roadway, aprons, parking and utilities. Carter said he would not be surprised if the cost rose.

Major construction of the terminal building is expected to begin in early 2008 and will take about 30 months.

The terminal is expected to be completed sometime in 2010. The existing terminal will then be demolished.

The new terminal will feature new parking, improved food and gift concessions, more convenient passenger pick-up and drop-off, and more efficient passenger and baggage security screening. It also will have a spacious area for meeting passengers and shorter walks to the gates, planners say.

Costs will be paid through airline rates and charges, user fees, airport system revenue, and federal grants.

Planners expect the Transportation Security Administration, for example, to provide funds for a baggage screening system that will have the latest technology for explosive detection.

In other business, the airport advisory board voted in favor of renewing the airport's lease with HMS Host Corp. to provide food, beverage and gifts in the terminal. Its current lease is slated to expire April 30.

HMS is considering making some additions in its offerings, HMS Host senior general manager Dan Poole told members. It may add two carts offering alcoholic beverages, Poole said. The cost of each cart is about $50,000, he said.

About a year before the new terminal opens, the airport will request proposals from concessionaires, including HMS, to bid on operating the concessions. That way the company chosen will be involved in the final planning and construction of new restaurants, bars and retail shops.

Wichita Eagle

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