Disturbing: Aviation Department Changing Testimony After The Fact
Is the Kansas City Aviation Department surreptitiously altering its public documents after the fact?
On April 4, Aviation Department head Mark Van Loh presented the results of a $4 million taxpayer-funded study about building a new airport terminal to the Kansas City Council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I wrote about the meeting at the time.
Mark Perryman, the COO of Landrum & Brown Inc., an airport consulting firm that worked on the new terminal proposal, said in his comments before the committee (begins at 16:23):
You really have, for a modern international airport, you have a general poor passenger experience. I know that there are some who would argue this, ‘no we have a great passenger experience.’ But when you have limited restrooms, limited concessions on the secure side of the airport, that really starts to present itself as a poor passenger experience.
After Perryman’s presentation, I asked about the methodology used to reach that conclusion, given that MCI has been rated highly elsewhere. As I wrote at the time, the committee’s chairman, City Councilman Russ Johnson, refused to answer questions.
If you visit the Aviation Department now, and download the April 4 presentation, you will find that at least the first slide, specific to “Poor passenger experience,” has been altered to read, “Post security passenger experience can be greatly improved.” That change happened at some point after April 10, but the slide deck does not note that the presentation was changed after the fact; it is still dated April 4.
Perryman and Van Loh sat through the entire April 4 hearing. They heard my question about the methodology of their study concluding a “poor passenger experience.” They knew they had conducted no such study and that there was no such methodology. If they felt that their presentation had been misconstrued, they had ample opportunity to correct the record. Instead, they chose to say nothing and now, weeks after the fact, we discover that the Aviation Department has surreptitiously altered its presentation.
It is tough to maintain an open mind about the prospect of building a new terminal when the proponents have relied almost solely on stonewalling, obfuscation, and empty gestures. Is it any wonder the public is skeptical?