Memphis International Airport celebrates its 50th year at its current location this summer. It was June 7, 1963, when the new $5.5 million terminal was dedicated at the present location south of Winchester Road, and Memphis Municipal Airport was renamed Memphis Metropolitan Airport. The new terminal featured 22 gate positions, allowing enough space for seven airlines to operate daily flights. It was six years later that the airport’s name was changed to Memphis International Airport to reflect its status as a point of origin and entry point for international passengers and cargo. Over the next 12 years, airport terminal capacity would more than double with the addition of Terminal A in 1974 and Terminal C in 1975.
Of course, over the last 50 years, additional changes and improvements to baggage facilities, Memphis-centric food and beverage, Memphis focused shopping, locally commissioned and focused artwork and displays, parking, and rental car facilities have all kept the airport fresh and vibrant.
For those who were not around 50 years ago, the photo to the right shows how the airport looked in 1963.