AECOM announced in early July that it has assembled a consortium of contractors, financiers and designers to compete to design, build and finance a new single-terminal airport design at Kansas City International Airport.
Los Angeles-based AECOM will very likely compete in a head-to-head proposal battle with Kansas City, Mo.-based Burns & McDonnell, which announced its intention to design and finance its own KCI proposal earlier this summer. The deadline for technical proposals is July 27.
Since Burns & McDonnell put forth its proposal in June, the company added contractors JE Dunn and McCownGordon, and designers HOK, Populous, BNIM, Wellner-Architects, Garcia Architecture, and Designer Emeritus Bob Berkebile. The firm also added 20 subcontractors to what it now calls the "KCI Home Team."
Mark One Electric Co., MMC Contractors, U.S. Engineering, Capital Electric Construction Co., American Fire Sprinkler, Alpha Energy and Electric Inc., Infinite Energy Construction, KC Testing & Engineering, Trekk Design Group LLC, FSC Consulting Engineers, Phronesis LLC, Dubois Consultants, Custom Engineering Inc., SE3 LLC, HG Consult Inc., SK Design Group Inc., Leigh & O'Kane, Tallaferro & Browne Inc., MC Reality Group LLC and Architecture & Historical Research LLC are all Kansas City companies that joined the Burns & McDonnell proposal at a jobs event held on July 18.
"Our team members have two key things in common—they know KCI and our great city like no one else, and they excel in their craft," says Ray Kowalik, chairman and CEO, Burns & McDonnell. "Building an iconic new KCI demands a hometown team that will create something we are all proud of and will put Kansas Citians to work."
Burns & McDonnell also announced that work on the KCI project will begin this year, if their proposal is selected by the city and approved by the voters in the Nov. 7 election. Burns & McDonnell committed to breaking ground the day after the election if the project is approved.
AECOM, meanwhile, has assembled a team that includes general contractors Turner Construction and AECOM/Hunt as well as its own financing arm and Oaktree Capital Management in what it is calling the KCI Partnership. They also created a website for the consortium.
"This is a group of companies that has worked very closely together as a team on numerous large airport projects around the U.S.," says Ian McNamara, the AECOM KCI partnership lead. "This combination of premiere designers in AECOM and Fentress (Architects), a design-build joint venture led by AECOM/Hunt and Turner and the equity sponsor grouping of AECOM Capital alongside Oaktree Capital Management—it really checked the boxes on having the participants at each of those levels. As an overall team, we work together all of the time, so it seemed like a no-brainer to us in respect to bringing this world class group of individuals and companies together."
AECOM is the top-ranked airport design firm in ENR's Top 500. Burns & McDonnell is ranked third on the list. After the two giants submit their technical proposals later this month, a separate set of financial proposals is due Aug. 10. Both AECOM and Burns & McDonnell say they expect a decision from Kansas City and the Department of Aviation weeks after those proposals so that the winning proposal can be submitted to a referendum in the Nov. 7 election. Both also said that any delay that would keep the referendum off the ballot would likely imperil the financial support of the airlines that have committed money to a new KCI.