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Mid-Southerners Embracing Southwest Airlines through Rapid Rewards and Premier Credit Card Memberships

When the Southwest Airlines brand officially enters the Memphis market this November, Memphis International Airport and the Memphis community overall want to show some immediate “LUV.” The Airport Authority, the Memphis Chamber and other civic and community groups are urging Memphians and Mid-Southerners to sign up for Southwest Airlines’ free Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program and to apply for a Southwest Premier credit card. The executives at Southwest have said on several occasions that their future in Memphis is very much influenced by how the flying public embraces their service and their company. Obtaining the two cards is a measurable sign of our community’s support of Southwest entering the local market and is a great way to hear about special deals and promotions from the airline.

To learn more about Rapid Rewards and sign up for a card visit: http://www.southwest.com/rapidrewards/overview

To learn more about and apply for a Southwest credit card visit: http://www.southwest.com/html/rapidrewards/partners/credit-cards/southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-cards/index.html

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AirTran New Service Launches

While the AirTran name will soon be leaving the market in Memphis, there was still one last opportunity to celebrate the long partnership between AirTran and Memphis International. In the July issue of the AirTran in-flight magazine GO, Memphis International took out an ad in honor of the 16 years of service and the new destinations.

Beginning August 11, Southwest Airlines, through its AirTran Airways Subsidiary, launched four new Memphis flights to three new AirTran routes; twice a day between Memphis and Chicago Midway, and once daily service between Memphis and Orlando, and Memphis and Baltimore/Washington. This is just the first of a series of moves into the Memphis market by Southwest.

Southwest Airlines will officially enter the Memphis International Airport with its Southwest brand on November 3, 2013. At that time the AirTran service to Chicago, Orlando and Baltimore/Washington will convert to the Southwest brand. At that same time Southwest will also add two new daily non-stop service destinations from Memphis – Houston Hobby and Tampa. more »

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Brockman Honored With AAAE Distinguished Service Award

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA) Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Brockman, AAE, is the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).

He was presented the award by AAAE Chair Mark Brewer, recognizing his career-long leadership and contributions to the international aviation industry.

Brewer commented, “Scott’s selection reflects the high regard that airport professionals have for him and serves as a testament to his many accomplishments on behalf of Memphis and Shelby County as well as the broader airport and aviation industry. He is a valued colleague who is well-known for his exceptional skills and leadership in airport management.” more »

AAAE Chair Mark Brewer (left) congratulates Scott after presenting him the 2013 Distinguished Service Award at the Authority’s July Board Meeting.

AAAE Chair Mark Brewer (left) congratulates Scott after presenting him the 2013 Distinguished Service Award at the Authority’s July Board Meeting.

Free Wi-Fi Coming to Memphis International

A new contract for Wi-Fi service was awarded to Boingo Wireless, Inc. that will offer Airport customers complimentary, unlimited Wi-Fi at the speed of 1.5 Mbps. The free service should accommodate the majority of MEM’s passengers who primarily use the internet for reading email or general web surfing. The free service is expected to begin by year-end.

Those who need high-end, high-speed bandwidth for streaming movies or similar activities will have the option to pay for expanded service at 5.0 Mbps to be available under a new tiered pricing structure. more »

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MEM Aces Federal Inspection

Memphis International Airport has passed its annual (Part 139) safety inspection by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with “no discrepancy.” The extensive 3-day inspection is required of all commercial air carrier airports to maintain their operating certificate. The FAA evaluates the airport to ensure compliance with the enormous number of detailed operational and safety standards set forth in Part 139 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

Inspectors review contents of the Airport Certification Manual, all safety and training records, the emergency response plan; and inspect airfield pavement, lighting, navigational aids, signs and markings, aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment, snow and ice removal capability, and wildlife management-habitat modifications among numerous other items. more »

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TSA Expanding Eligibility for Expedited Security Screening to More Travelers

Good news for air travelers that want to use the fast lane at the security checkpoint. The Transportation Security Administration is opening enrollment to its popular TSA Preêprogram to the general public beginning this fall.

Currently, only select Frequent Flyers of participating airlines are invited to apply. Members of U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry may also use the special screening lane where one is allowed to leave on their shoes, belts, and jackets and keep laptops in their carry-on bags. more »

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Ramp Reconstruction Continues and Runway Safety System Completed

Demolition and removal of the old concrete from the aircraft parking ramp between Terminal concourses A and B is underway as the ramp replacement project moves into Phase 2.

Phase 1, the courtyard between B and C concourses, was completed last month after inclement weather and other unforeseen conditions added about five months to the project.

Approximately 20 acres or 113,000 square yards of worn-out 40-50 year old concrete is being replaced in this Phase, which is expected to take 13 months. Contractors will pour between several hundred and 2,000 square yards of new concrete in a day. The temperature must be forecast to remain above 35 degrees Fahrenheit for three days before the contractors will pour a large section. This will allow the water in the concrete time to cure out so it won’t freeze. The finished concrete will be 18-inches thick above 22-inches of new base material. more »

The old aircraft parking ramp between A and B has been torn out for replacement (right), while the new ramp between B and C (left) is now complete.

The old aircraft parking ramp between A and B has been torn out for replacement (right), while the new ramp between B and C (left) is now complete.

Airport Statistics Highlights

June 2013 June 2012 Year-to-Date 2013 Year-to-Date 2012
Total Passengers 430,546 643,687 2,454,472 3,638,864
Total Cargo Handled (lbs) 753,818,891 747,146,852 4,477,532,103 4,367,691,459
Total Aircraft Operations 19,533 23,653 117,857 140,356

For the full statistical report on Memphis International Airport, click here.