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News from the Aviation Department

City of Kansas City, Mo.

CONTACT: Joe McBride, public information officer at (816) 243-3164 or


Downtown Airport installing Emergency Materials Arresting System

As part of a multi-year $70 million refurbishment project, the City of Kansas City, Mo., Aviation Department recently started construction of a $17 million engineered materials arresting system on Runway 1-19 at Kansas City Downtown Airport.

The engineered materials arresting system is designed to minimize the chance of injury and damage by arresting aircraft momentum by using a 300-foot barrier of specially constructed blocks that crush like plastic foam under the weight of the aircraft.

Phase I of the project will extend the south end of the runway by 100 feet, and include installation of the EMAS and the relocation of Taxiway Alpha. The runway will remain open for the duration of the project, which will be completed by late December. Taxiway Alpha east of Runway 3-21 and Taxiway Golf at a point south of Taxiway Bravo will be closed during construction.

“The Runway 1-19 safety area project culminates a multi-year effort on the part of the Kansas City Aviation Department to rehabilitate and upgrade the airport infrastructure and to bring it into conformance with current safety standards,” said Michael Roper, manager, Kansas City Downtown Airport.

In addition to the EMAS project the MKC refurbishment program includes a $28 million project to raze and resurface both airport runways; $20 million to bulldoze 40 old hangars and replace them with 96 new hangars; and construction of a $1 million general aviation terminal, which includes a pilots’ lounge and large waiting room capable of accommodating up to 66 people, an aircraft self-fueling station and outdoor aircraft wash bay.

In September, the State of Missouri awarded $3.5 million in economic incentives for construction of a new terminal building, hangars and other facilities for Hangar 10, a business aviation services company that opened at a temporary facility at MKC in May.

Dedicated by Charles Lindbergh in 1927, Kansas City Downtown Airport is Kansas City, Mo.’s first airport and still one of its busiest. Originally home to commercial aviation, the airport now attracts a large number of corporate, charter and recreational flyers. Located on 695 acres, the airport is just across the Missouri River from Kansas City’s business center and serves up to 700 aircraft per day. The facility and its control tower are open 24 hours a day and features two runways, 7,002-foot Runway 1-19 and 5,050-foot Runway 3-21. For more information, visit

The Kansas City Airport System is an Enterprise Fund Department of the City of Kansas City, Mo., and is supported wholly by airport user charges. No general tax fund revenues are used for the administration, promotion, operation, or maintenance of the airports in the system.

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City News Releases - 2009

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