The Kansas City International Airport is commonly referred to as MCI. But why? In this blog post, we explore the origins of the MCI nickname.
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The airport’s original name was Mid-Continent International Airport
In 1959, the Midwest City Chamber of Commerce started a campaign to rename the airport after its original name, “Mid-Continent International Airport”. The chamber wanted to emphasize that the airport served more than just Kansas City and was in the center of the United States.
The name change was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in October of that year, and the new name was made official on January 1st, 1960. The chamber held a contest to rename the airport and “Kansas City International Airport” was chosen as the winning entry.
However, in 1963, Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport – now called Eisenhower National Airport – applied for and was granted permission to use the “KC” designation. This caused confusion for travelers, so in 1968, Kansas City decided to rename its airport again – this time to “Mid-Continent International Airport”.
The name change didn’t last long though. In 1972, just four years after it had been renamed, the airport was once again called “Kansas City International Airport”. And that’s what it’s still called today!
The airport was renamed in 1972 to honor World War II General Daniel “Chappie” James
In 1972, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce led a campaign to rename the Mid-Continent International Airport after World War II General Daniel “Chappie” James. The airport was originally named for the central location of the city, but chamber officials thought it needed a more dignified name.
Campaigners were able to collect enough signatures to put the question on the ballot for a vote by city residents. The measure passed overwhelmingly, and the airport was renamed Kansas City International Airport, or KCI for short.
Today, the airport is still known as KCI, but many locals still refer to it by its old nickname, “MCI.”
The airport was again renamed in 1998 to Kansas City International Airport
In 1972, the airport was renamed Kansas City Downtown Airport after the construction of its signature terminal, which was completed in 1972. The airport was again renamed in 1998 to Kansas City International Airport.
The airport is currently undergoing a $1.5 billion expansion and renovation project
In 2014, the airport embarked on a $1.5 billion expansion and renovation project that is currently underway. The project includes a new terminal, parking garage, and other improvements. The airport has also been renamed from “Kansas City International Airport” to “Kansas City International Airport at MCI.”