News Briefs

As new KCI terminal nears completion, concessions and airport employers seek more workers

By: - January 31, 2023 1:27 pm

An aerial view showing the construction of the new KCI terminal (Photo courtesy of the Aviation Department). .

This story was originally published by the Kansas City Beacon

Sandy Cisneros has a retail job in Liberty where she makes $15 an hour. But the mother of two children was looking for something that would offer more hours, better pay and a more flexible schedule.

After showing up at a Jan. 23 hiring fair sponsored by the Vantage Airport Group at Kansas City International Airport, Cisneros left with everything she was looking for — along with the possibility of a raise. She will be a shift lead at Dunkin’ Donuts when the new KCI terminal opens in a few weeks.

For Cisneros, her new job will be something of a homecoming. She’s worked retail jobs at KCI in the past. She expects that her return, like the $1.5 billion terminal she’ll be working in, will be busier and livelier.

“It was an OK experience,” Cisneros said of her previous KCI gigs. “But I’m looking for more excitement because of the companies that are going to be at the new terminal.”

Excitement and flexibility — something else Cisneros was looking for — are two of the benefits employers are advertising as they staff up for the opening of the 1 million square-foot new terminal.

When is the new KCI airport opening?

The new terminal is set to open Feb. 28, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced in a press conference.

Construction on the project began in 2019, two years after Kansas City residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of the development. Replacing KCI’s two horseshoe-shaped terminals, the new structure boasts 39 gates, an array of amenities focused on accessibility, and 50 retail, food and beverage operators.

While roughly the same size as the current airport terminals, the new structure will need more feet on the ground in day-to-day operations.

“As far as the Aviation Department goes, it is status quo with no additional positions necessary to operate the new terminal,” said Joe McBride, marketing and communications manager at the Aviation Department.

“The current terminals do not lend to having staffed locations, but the new terminal does.”

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Mili Mansaray
Mili Mansaray

Mili Mansaray is the housing and labor reporter at The Kansas City Beacon. Previously, she was a freelance reporter and Summer 2020 intern.