In August 1927, just months after his heroic solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, Charles Lindbergh landed on a dusty strip of land along a bend in the Missouri River, dedicating one of the nation’s great inner city airports and officially launching Kansas City’s aviation industry into the national spotlight.
That airfield, now known as Kansas City Downtown Airport (MKC), has served as home to Howard Hughes’ Trans Western (and later Trans World) Airlines and as the primary commercial and general aviation airport until Kansas City International Airport (MCI) opened in 1972. In the ensuing years, MKC has become a major regional center for business aviation due to its proximity to downtown Kansas City, Mo.
Today, the Kansas City Aviation Department is nearing completion on a $70 million refurbishment program at Downtown Airport. The MKC refurbishment program, begun in 2005, 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; $17 million for runway safety projects; 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 avgas 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.
“It is becoming increasingly rare to find large U.S. cities with serviceable airports in the heart of downtown,” said Missouri Governor Jeremiah W. “Jay” Nixon at a groundbreaking event held at MKC in September. “As companies turn more and more to private aircraft and charters to do business, a significantly upgraded Downtown Airport will be perfectly situated to take advantage of an array of exciting economic opportunities, to the benefit of Kansas City and the state of Missouri.”
When completed, the Hangar 10 will include three aircraft hangars totaling 56,000 square feet, a 28,000-square-foot executive aviation terminal with office space, lounges, pilot rest area, overnight rooms, fitness center and meeting space for groups of up to 30 people. Hangar 10 will offer Jet-A fuel and offer maintenance, aircraft sales and management services for aircraft owners.
Hangar 10 joins Executive Beechcraft, a BBA Aviation company, as one of two business aviation services companies at MKC. Executive Beechcraft has served Kansas City since 1938 and offers aircraft sales and leasing, total aircraft management, aircraft maintenance, airframe/engine modifications and parts, accessories inventory, avionics/instruments repair and overhaul, ground support services, catering, and a downtown shuttle to hotels, restaurants, and all major venues.
Executive Beechcraft recently completed an extensive refurbishment of its FBO facility, including new carpeting, furniture and countertops in the main reception and lounge areas, as well as to the pilots’ lounge, conference and meeting rooms.
MKC offers a 24-hour control tower, Category I Instrument Landing System, 24-hour FBO, aircraft maintenance, hangar facilities, air cargo facilities, aircraft sales, leasing and charters, flight training and car rentals.
For more information: FlyMKC.com.