Memphis International Airport
|Memphis International Airport|
2013 USGS aerial photo
|Owner/Operator||Memphis–Shelby County Airport Authority|
|Elevation AMSL||341 ft / 104 m|
FAA airport diagram
Sources: Memphis international airport annual report 2015
Memphis International Airport is home to the FedEx Express global hub, which processes many of the company's packages. Nonstop FedEx destinations from Memphis include cities across the continental United States, Europe, Middle East, Asia and South America. From 1993 to 2009 Memphis had the largest cargo operations of any airport worldwide. MEM dropped into second position in 2010, behind Hong Kong; however, it remained the busiest cargo airport in the United States.
As of 2015, Memphis International Airport had a passenger count of 3.75 million, up slightly from the 2014 year. Delta Air Lines dropped Memphis as a hub airport after continually reducing flights following its 2008 merger with Northwest Airlines. As of July 2014 MEM averaged 83 total passenger flights per day on all of the airlines serving the city. The airport has since added several airlines, including Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines, which has increased competition among the carriers. Since Delta's departure as a hub operation, average round trip prices have declined significantly. The July–September 2014 quarter alone saw a 4.7% decline from the quarter a year earlier.
Memphis Municipal Airport opened on a 200-acre (81 ha) plot of farmland just over seven miles (11 km) from downtown Memphis. During its early years the airport had three hangars and an unpaved runway; passenger and air mail service was provided by American Airlines and Chicago and Southern Air Lines (acquired by Delta Air Lines in 1953). In 1939 Eastern Air Lines arrived; that March Eastern had one departure a day to Muscle Shoals and beyond, American had four east/west and C&S had four north/south.
During World War II the United States Army Air Forces Air Transport Command 4th Ferrying Group used Memphis while sending new aircraft overseas. In April 1951 the runways were 6000-ft 2/20, 6530-ft 9/27, 4370-ft 14/32 and 4950-ft 17/35 (the airport was all north of Winchester Rd during the 1950s)
The April 1957 OAG shows 64 weekday departures: 25 on Delta, 18 American, 7 Southern, 5 Eastern, 4 Braniff, 3 Trans-Texas and 2 Capital. American DC-6s flew nonstop to Washington and New York, but westward nonstops didn't reach beyond Ft Worth and Kansas City until American started Los Angeles in 1964. The first scheduled jets were Delta 880s ORD-MEM-MSY and back, starting in July–August 1960.
The current terminal was designed by Mann & Harrover and cost $6.5 million. It opened on June 7, 1963 and Memphis Municipal changed its name to Memphis International in 1969, but the airport had no non-stop international flights until 1985–86 when Republic Airlines began flights to Mexico. The terminal was expanded for $31.6 million in 1974, adding two new concourses and extending the others, which were designed by Roy P. Harrover & Associates. The airport had no non-stop international flights until 1995 when KLM began service to Amsterdam. Flights to Amsterdam ended on September 3, 2012, part of Delta's cutbacks in Memphis, this leaves Cancun, Mexico and Freeport, Bahamas as the only scheduled international flights from Memphis, operated seasonally by Aeromexico and Bahamasair on behalf of Vacation Express. That also leaves Memphis with no transatlantic service.
Southern Airways was an important regional carrier at Memphis in the 1960s; it merged into Republic Airlines in 1979 as the first large merger after the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act. With the dismantling of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) flight approval requirements, airlines began developing around a large hub model as opposed to the former point-to-point networks that were common before deregulation. Republic established Memphis as a hub operation in 1985 before merging into Northwest Airlines in 1986. In 2008 Delta Air Lines bought Northwest.
Federal Express (now FedEx Express) began operations in Memphis in 1973. It opened its current "SuperHub" facility on the north side of the airport in 1981.
In 2008 the airport began expanding its control tower and parking garages. The new tower cost $72.6 million and is 336 feet tall, more than double the old tower height. An $81 million, 7-story parking garage replaced two surface lots adding 6,500 parking spaces. $11 million was spent on a covered moving walkway between the garages and the terminal.
Since 2009 the airport has been a small hub for regional carrier SeaPort Airlines. Utilizing the single-engine Cessna 208 Caravan turboprop SeaPort has flights to communities in Arkansas through the Essential Air Service program. SeaPort Airlines is based at the private aviation terminal, not the main passenger terminal.
In 2014, the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority announced a planned $114 million renovation of the airport. This renovation will include demolishing the largely-vacant south ends of concourses A and C, which will allow aircraft to more easily access the larger B concourse. The remainder of the A and C concourses will remain and be ready to use for any potential growth in the future. In addition, the plan calls for the widening and modernization of the B concourse, which most flights will be directed to when the renovation is complete. The renovation, expected to start in late 2015 and end around 2020, will leave the airport with about 60 gates.
Memphis International Airport is governed by the Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority. Board of directors consist of five members appointed by the Memphis mayor and two members nominated by the Shelby County mayor. All board members are confirmed by the Memphis City Council.
Facilities and aircraft
- 18C/36C: 11,120 ft × 150 ft (3,389 m × 46 m) Concrete
- 18L/36R: 9,000 ft × 150 ft (2,743 m × 46 m) Concrete
- 18R/36L: 9,320 ft × 150 ft (2,841 m × 46 m) Concrete
- 9/27: 8,946 ft × 150 ft (2,727 m × 46 m) Concrete.
Runway 9/27 reopened for traffic on November 30, 2009 after nine months of resurfacing. The new runway has a more durable concrete surface, and opened in time for the peak of the FedEx shipping season.
For the 12-month period ending May 31, 2014 the airport had 225,592 aircraft operations, an average of 618 per day: 71% scheduled commercial, 18% air taxi, 10% general aviation, and 1% military. At that time there were 93 aircraft based at this airport: 48% jet, 15% multi-engine, 17% single-engine, 10% military, and 10% helicopter. The Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) is on the airport grounds at 3229 Democrat Road, TN 38118.
- Terminal A contains 7 gates: A21, A23, A25, A27, A29, A31 and A33. Terminal A is only used by Southwest Airlines.
- Terminal B contains 42 gates: B1-B20, B22-B43. Delta Air Lines and Allegiant Air operate out of Terminal B. Delta Air Lines operates a Delta Sky Club lounge in Terminal B. Seasonally, the terminal is used by international charters which operate out of the airport's international gates B42 and B43. International travelers are required to pass through a TSA security checkpoint after clearing customs. This is required because the customs hall exits into the concourse instead of the main lobby.
- Terminal C contains 18 gates: C1-C5, C7-C11, C12A/C12B, C14A/C14B, C16, C18, C20 and C22. Terminal C is currently used by American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, GLO Airlines and United Airlines.
Airlines and destinations
|2||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||187,000||American|
|3||Charlotte, North Carolina||175,000||American/US Airways|
|4||Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois||140,000||American, United|
|6||Denver, Colorado||96,000||Frontier, United|
|7||Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota||76,000||Delta|
|Year||Passengers||Change from previous year|
|Source: Memphis International Airport|
Accidents and incidents
- On August 11, 1984, Douglas C-47 N70003 of Aviation Enterprises crashed shortly after take-off from Memphis International Airport on a domestic non-scheduled passenger flight to O'Hare International Airport, Chicago. All three people on board died. A missing spark plug on the port engine caused a loss of power. Maintenance involving the removal of the spark plugs had been performed the previous day.
- On April 7, 1994, FedEx Flight 705 bound for San Jose, CA experienced an attempted hijacking shortly after takeoff. FedEx employee Auburn Calloway tried to hijack the plane in order to crash it into the FedEx hub at Memphis International, in a Kamikaze-style attack. The crew fought him off and returned to Memphis.
- On December 18, 2003, FedEx Express Flight 647 veered off the runway after the landing gear collapsed upon landing from Oakland International Airport (OAK). The aircraft was immediately engulfed in flames. All 5 crew members escaped by exiting via the cockpit window.
- On July 28, 2006, FedEx Flight 630's landing gear collapsed upon landing at Memphis International Airport after a flight from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. After coming to a stop, the plane caught fire, engulfing the left wing and engine. While the three crew members sustained injuries, they all survived. The aircraft was written off.
- TN: Memphis International&carrier=FACTS Memphis 2015 passenger count, Memphis International Airport
-  Archived November 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Global Airport Cities 2013 – Welcome". Globalairportcities.com. August 11, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- TN: Memphis International&carrier=FACTS Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, March 2015
- Memphis logs fourth-largest decline in airfares, Commercial Appeal, March 12, 2015
- "All sizes - Memphis 1956_0008 - Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr.
- Clute, Eugene; Fenimore, Russell; Reid, Kenneth (1973). Progressive Architecture. 54. Reinhold Publishing Corporation. p. 46. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- "Delta Air Lines scratches Amsterdam from Memphis – Memphis Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. October 30, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- "Memphis Airport history". Mscaa.com. June 14, 1929. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
- Andy Ashby (November 7, 2011). "Memphis airport unveils new tower, third tallest in U.S.". Memphis Business Journal.
- Trey Heath (April 27, 2008). "Airport begins $81 million construction project". Memphis Business Journal.
- "SeaPort Airlines :: Memphis, TN". Seaportair.com. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- Bianca Phillips (February 20, 2014). "Memphis International Airport To Downsize Concourses". Memphis Flyer.
- "Airport Authority". Shelby County.
- FAA Airport Master Record for MEM ( PDF), effective October 25, 2007
- "Memphis International Airport Notes". Memphisairport.org. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
- "Air Canada Spices up its U.S. Schedule with Six New Transborder Routes for 2017". Aircanada.ca. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- "Memphis International Airport (MEM)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
- "Statistics". Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
- "2016 Comprehensive Report" (PDF).
- "164th Airlift Wing".
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- "NTSB Identification: ATL84FA251". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- Hollahan, Terry. "Delta Air Lines deals crushing blow to Memphis airport." Memphis Business Journal. June 4, 2013.
|Aircraft photos from Memphis International (MEM) at airliners.net|
|FedEx Jets @ MEM Photo|
- Media related to Memphis International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Memphis International Airport (official site)
- (PDF), effective January 5, 2017
- Resources for this airport: