The new $1.5 billion Kansas City International Terminal is scheduled to open in early 2023 and will have lots of opportunities for businesses to operate retail, gift, food and service concessions. In addition, as part of the City of KCMO’s Public Art Program, there are still opportunities for artists to have their work purchased and installed in the new terminal.

Due to the lead time required to design, produce and install the art installations prior to the opening of the new facility, the request for art is much further along in the solicitation process. The KCMO Public Art Program requires all construction, reconstruction or remodeling of any municipal building set aside 1% of the estimated cost of the improvements for acquisition and installation of “art works and other aesthetic adornments.” For the new terminal, $5.6 million has been allocated for art installations.

Most of the money for airport art has been set aside for major art installations, including $3.4 for four large hanging sculptures and $1.2 million for a sculpture inspired by fountains. (KC is nicknamed the City of Fountains). However, there is still $500,000 set aside for small art projects, and proposals for that art will open this spring.

To learn more about the selection process, go to The first step in the process is to complete the Request for Qualifications, which requires artists to upload photos of art from their portfolio. If you’re really interested, you might want to get started now on your RFQ.

According to Alan Gluck, the lead concessions consultant for KCI, the selection process for concessions would begin well ahead of the airport’s 2023 opening to ensure a thorough “time to carefully consider proposals and time for the vendors to properly plan and execute their visions.” That was a statement made by Gluck in August 2019 and as of this week, the concession’s Request for Proposal still has not been released. According to Gluck, the RFP will be released the week of Feb. 8.

The concessions will include food and beverage, retail, gift and service locations. Potential service locations could include, but are not limited to: barber shops, shoe shine shops, nail salons, etc. The goal is to have the concessions as much as possible reflect a theme “Made in KC.”

There are opportunities for small businesses to participate in a number of ways.

• Operate concessions individually as a tenant or subtenant,

• Joint venture, with a larger operator or multiple smaller firms working together,

• Supplier of merchandise,

• Suppliers of food products,

• Supplier of services,

• Store design, or

• Store construction.

In January, a virtual meet-and-greet was held to bring together major national and multinational airport concessions operators and smaller operators and give them the opportunity to discuss possible partnerships in the new terminal. If you missed that opportunity, you might want to reach out on your own and do your research on the more-than-two-dozen national firms that have expressed an interest in acquiring the contract to operate KCI’s concessions. There is not a residency requirement or preference for the concessions, so people from outside KCMO can participate. For more information about the concession program requirements, go to

At just over 1 million square feet, the Kansas City International Airport New Terminal is the largest single infrastructure project in the city’s history. It will have a lasting economic impact on the region in the form of new jobs, opportunities for local and small businesses, and a first-class travel experience for airport users. The facility will open with 39 gates and the ability to expand up to 50 gates in the future. The new terminal will also include a 6,000+space parking structure, which will be constructed adjacent to the terminal building, a central utility plant, and landside and airside improvements.

When complete, the new facility will replace the airport’s aging terminals, which opened in 1972.

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