Advisory committee seeks to rename the Kansas City airport


The votes are in and an advisory committee wants Martin Luther King Jr.’s name on the Kansas City airport. However, the Aviation Department thinks they should reconsider.

On Sunday afternoon, renaming the airport after Martin Luther King Jr. was the top pick. The votes coming from an advisory committee named by Mayor Sly James. However, what happens next remains unclear.

“We were asked not to be too concerned with the logistics of it,” said Roger Williams, the MLK advisory group co-chair.

While the airport got the most votes, 63rd Street came in second, so the group will also send that on to the mayor.

“The airport I think is easy, timely and very appropriate,” said Gordan Kauffman, who attended the advisory meetings. “Renaming a street is probably more complicated.”

Renaming the airport is complicated, too. In a statement to 41 Action News, Aviation Spokesman Joe McBride said, “The department looks forward to the opportunity to be engaged in a public discussion about the pros and cons of naming the new terminal versus the renaming of Kansas City International.”

We also obtained a draft of a letter to the advisory group sent on May 10th. 

In it, the Director of Aviation expressed concerns about changing KCI’s name because it would create confusion among the traveling public and hinder the department’s ability to market Kansas City.

“It’s something that airports have moved away from, so we need to make sure we study that first before we make any change,” said Quinton Lucas, a Kansas City councilman.

Councilman Lucas stressed there is a lot more research to be done. Mayor James says his next step is receiving the recommendations officially and talking to the community. 

“To have the whole community engaged in this and to make their preferences known so we do something people can buy into and own, that’s what it was all about,” Mayor James said. 

More answers about the next steps will be answered at a press conference Monday afternoon.

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