Wichita Mid-Continent Airport
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is located near Wichita, Kansas. It is the largest airport in Kansas as well as its busiest. The elevation of the airport is 1,333 feet above sea level. There are three runways all with concrete surfaces. The 1L/19R runway is the largest in length at 10,301 feet. The airport’s parking facilities are adjacent to the main terminal building. In 1951, Wichita’s small municipal airport was acquired by the United States Air Force. Today, the former airport is now the site of McConnell Air Force Base. Shortly thereafter, the city of Wichita bought nearly 2,000 acres of land and began constructing the new airport. The construction was completed sometime in 1954. Until 1973, the airport was known as Wichita Municipal Airport. In 1976, two concourses were constructed to the main terminal in addition to ten new gates. More renovations were made during the mid-1980s, including ticket areas and construction of new gates. In 1989, the airport’s terminal building was renovated. The renovation project was an estimated $6 million investment.
The airport’s main terminal building has two concourses and a total of 11 gates. The first six gates are located on the East Concourse, while the other five are located on the West Concourse. Currently, three of the eleven gates are not in use. Due to no boarding bridge being used, Gate 9 has been sparingly used. Seven of the gates have boarding bridge. Four gates have no boarding bridges. Passengers on flights with no boarding gates must walk on the tarmac in order to board the aircraft. It is the same procedure for passengers departing the aircraft.
In September of 2012, ground was broken to mark the beginning of the construction of a new terminal building. It will be located west of the current terminal. This terminal is two-stories and has a state-of-the-art design. With the new terminal project underway, other major elements of the project are set to be included. A new roadway with separate lanes for private and public vehicles will be included. There will be expanded ticketing areas and baggage claims, an upper-level concourse and 12 boarding gates. There will be 16 boarding bridges altogether.
The security area will be up-to-date with new baggage handling systems and screenings to detect explosives. The current terminal will face stages of demolition after the new terminal projected is completed. The project is slated to take up to three years for its full completion. The project is said to have a total cost of nearly $160 million. Nearly 80 percent of the investment went towards the construction of the terminal building itself.
Parking at the Airport
A new parking facility is to be constructed for all terminals. The covered parking building will be located across from the terminal. Once complete, the parking’s capacity will be close to 3,000 spaces. The new parking garage project is slated to cost $40 million. The parking garage’s construction will take about a year and a half to be completed.