The new terminal at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, which is slated for completion in early 2015, is to be funded by a user-fee based system and a USD53 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The terminal will be able to handle 2 million passengers annually at 12 gates, with expansion possible to 16 gates that can accommodate an additional 400,000 passengers annually.
Each gate will have passenger boarding bridges accommodating a wide range of aircraft, from smaller jets up to 757s.
The Wichita Airport Authority voted in October 2004 to move forward, a process that bogged down over seven years until the city agreed last year to solicit bids. And then the project bogged down again. City staff found last spring that the initial low bidder, a team headed by Wichita-based Dondlinger Construction at $99.4 million, did not make a good-faith effort to land enough federally required disadvantaged-business subcontractors for the project. Without such a good-faith effort, the FAA stood ready to pull its grant, effectively killing the project.
A four-month appeals process began that concluded in July, when the City Council overturned Dondlinger’s final appeal and awarded the project to the next low bidder, a team led by Wichita-based Key Construction at $101.5 million. Now, city and county officials said, it’s time to move on with the terminal and with growing Wichita.