As we enter a new year, plans are pretty much on schedule for the new Kansas City International Airport. The completion date for the one million square foot plus facility is early 2023.

As an air traveler leaving and returning to Kansas City through the years, I've seen some changes. The first time I traveled the friendly skies was in the early 70's before the current KCI airport was opened. I flew into and out of the downtown airport (Kansas City Municipal Airport) just off Broadway located across the Missouri river in KCMO.

In 1972 the Kansas City International Airport was built by the city of Kansas City. The current complex spreads across 10,000 acres. Through my years traveling in and out of KCI, I don't think I have had an easier experience of getting in and out of an airport. Maybe I'm biased. I have just always felt comfortable when I've had to fly out of this airport.

Here's something I found out about KCI that now makes sense. Ever notice how the identifier code on your baggage for KCI is MCI? The reason for this is originally KCI was called MCI or Mid-Continent International Airport. For years it served as the landing strip of TWA's overhaul base and an alternate for the old Kansas City Municipal Airport.

With this new $1.58 billion single-terminal facility, according to Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, passengers will be able to fly in and out of the facility on March 3, 2023.

According to information from a Kansas City Aviation Department news release:

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.

LET'S GO: The most popular historic sites in America

More From KIX 105.7