K.C. Int'l Airport Wants to Replace Door Locks

Kansas City International Airport officials want to make the airport less vulnerable to security breaches by replacing all door locks and keys with an automated card-access system.

A proposed $5.7 million contract with a Lenexa systems integrator would add electronic hardware to 321 doors, 274 card readers and 217 security cameras in and around the three terminals and other city-owned buildings on airport property.

The federal government, which mandated the changes, would pay 75 percent of the costs, Aviation Director Mark VanLoh said.

"This will really beef up security at KCI," VanLoh told the Kansas City Council's Aviation Committee on Thursday. The committee recommended approval of the contract with the C&C Group. The contract is expected to go before the full council next week.

If approved, the security system will be installed by June 2006, said Martin Dowman, a representative for the C&C Group, which has installed temperature-control systems at KCI and security systems at Union Station and the Sprint campus in Overland Park.

The new security system would not affect the doors that are used by the traveling public, nor would travelers be likely to notice much of the new security system. But it would be a significant change for airport and airline employees who have access to restricted areas.

Every time an employee loses a key to a restricted area, crews immediately must replace the locks of every door that employee has access to, VanLoh said. With the automated system, a lost card would be deleted from the system. Any disciplinary action would be up to individual airlines, VanLoh said.

Similar card-access systems have been installed at Los Angeles International Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, he said.

Officials said the new security camera system would allow more surveillance of the terminal buildings and aprons.