The team selected to develop and build the new $1.3 billion terminal at Kansas City (MO) International Airport, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, has unveiled preliminary renderings of the project, according to The Kansas City Star.
The new single terminal, which will replace the three existing terminals, will include such features as a consolidated, 12-lane security checkpoint; a two-story, animated fountain; two concourses with 35 gates; people-movers; a scalloped roof; and live performance spaces.
One Kansas City Council member questioned the progress being made lining up local subcontractors. The project will not use taxpayer money, but Kansas City voters must still approve it at the ballot box in November.
Be it an airport terminal or a sports arena, projects of this size typically see contractors and development teams cutting deals with local officials to ensure that area residents and businesses can benefit from the construction phase and secure permanent jobs in the new venue.
One form those agreements take is local hiring requirements. However, the ongoing labor shortage has made it difficult to staff projects at all, much less according to certain demographics. Yet cities, counties and states continue to pressure developers and contractors to meet them.
The city of Detroit required that contractors on the Red Wings' new Little Caesars Arena hire 51% locals, and they have fined them almost $3 million through March for missing that mark.
Arena contractors performed community outreach, held job fairs and offered training. The local officials charged with making sure they met the hiring requirements said they thought the project team did their best.
Officials noted that there didn't seem to be enough local workers to go around, but that the revenue generated from the fines would help develop a local workforce that could be implemented on future projects.
Whether it occurs on principle or due to genuine concern as to the size of today's construction workforce, there are critics of local hiring requirements. The state of Ohio recently passed a law that prevents public entities from enacting local workforce hiring goals. Contractors have complained that in order to meet these mandates they often must terminate their out-of-town workers only to end up struggling to find qualified local laborers.