Feds probe diversity, civil rights claims on $1.5B Kansas City airport project

A $1.5 billion airport project lauded as an example of successfully incorporating diversity and inclusion initiatives in the commercial construction industry is now under scrutiny from the Federal Aviation Administration over whether it is actually meeting those goals.

The FAA’s civil rights office called out Kansas City, Missouri, officials for failing to track minority and women-owned business participation at Kansas City International Airport’s new terminal project, and not reporting a civil rights and retaliation complaint by a woman-owned contractor that was initially accepted, but then rejected, to work on the project.

In a Feb. 9 letter to the city’s Aviation Department, the FAA found that the airport and the new terminal’s construction project had “significant compliance deficiencies” on both diversity and civil rights, which are conditions of the airport’s federal grant funding. The agency directed the city to take immediate corrective action and report its progress within 30 days, warning “if these deficiencies are not addressed, Kansas City will be in violation of FAA grant assurances.”