A First of Its Kind in the Nation: City of Kansas City, Missouri, Partners with Private Companies to Design, Build and Finance a New One-Terminal Airport

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri (May 12, 2017) — After challenging Kansas City business leaders to step up and help determine the future of the Kansas City International Airport, Mayor Sly James announced a proposal put forward by Burns & McDonnell to design and build a new one-terminal airport, and lead a team of private investors, such as Americo, to finance the project. The privately funded terminal idea is believed to be a first of its kind in the nation.

“From day one, any discussion of a new airport terminal, in my mind, required leadership from the business community. The proposal outlined today is just that,” says Mayor Sly James, Kansas City, Missouri. “This is the kind of innovative thinking that Kansas City should be proud of.”

“Burns & McDonnell is committed to investing in the city we all love and provide a creative Kansas City solution to a Kansas City challenge,” says Ray Kowalik, Chairman and CEO, Burns & McDonnell. “Burns & McDonnell is the largest engineering consulting firm in Missouri and we have significant airport design and construction experience. This is what we do. And we are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this expertise in our home town.”

Kowalik says in 2016 alone, Burns & McDonnell employees took more than 33,000 flights through KCI — that is more than 90 flights every single day. He says a one-terminal design is critical to the economic development of Kansas City, creating new jobs and the opportunity for more convenient flights in and out of KCI.

“We’re an employee-owned company, so an investment in KCI is not just from Burns & McDonnell, it’s from each of our 5,700 employee-owners who use our airport every day and call Kansas City home.”

Through the innovative financing model, the airport would receive financing through private investments, paid for by airport usage fees, with no funds coming from the City’s general fund, new taxes, or existing bonds. 

Investors Burns & McDonnell and Americo are Kansas City-based companies committed to the future growth of the city.

“Our company has been in this community for generations and the future of our City is very important to us,” said Greg Hamilton, Vice President of Investments at Americo Life, Inc. “We look forward to next steps in assisting Burns & McDonnell in assembling the required private funding. We anticipate that we will be part of a large group that will help promote the new terminal project to the voting public.”

Burns & McDonnell is ranked as the No. three airport design firm in the country by Engineering News-Record and is the only Missouri firm in the top five. The Kansas City-based firm is currently working on major airport projects across the country, including La Guardia and LAX.

About Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies made up of more than 5,700 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and entrepreneurs with offices across the country and throughout the world. We strive to create amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for our employee-owners. Burns & McDonnell is 100 percent employee-owned and is proud to be No. 16 on Fortune’s 2017 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. 

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