Director gives update on Mid-Continent Airport demolition

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - Busy ticket counters and travelers excited to make it to their next destination was the scene for decades at Mid-Continent Airport.

But today, there's a much different picture.

"It's been vacant since June of 2015, when we opened the new terminal, except for the second floor of the old closed terminal has been occupied until about a couple of months ago," said Victor White, airport director.

Now, the Wichita Airport Authority is looking to the future, which includes a multi-million dollar demolition.

"It's nostalgic for a lot of folks who've been around here since actually it opened up in 1953-1954 time frame," said White.

This may lead people to wonder what will take its place.

"There'll be nothing placed-replaced on top of it because the basement has to stay," said White. "There is a roof structure that has to go above it that'll be a couple of feet above the ground. And, then we'll put a decorative fence along the sidewalk."

White, who's been the airport director since 2005, says even though the building itself won't be there, doesn't mean all the memories will be taken with it.

That includes the historic "Magic Flight" sculpture.

"It will be taken into the new terminal, and it will be put in the far northwest corner of the ticket lobby, the airline ticket lobby," said White. "So, it'll have a place that we've always planned on putting it. So, it will be safe."

And while this will be a big change, White says it's the right one.

"We think we did it right," he said. "It's great for the community. And, it was a good decision by the city fathers many years ago to make that choice to build a brand new terminal, as opposed to renovating this one."

Tuesday, city council approved a contract with the engineering consultants.

White says they're hoping that a year from now, most of the building will be gone.

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