Memphis International Airport Notes

October 2012

Don't get grounded. Let Notes provide you and your friends with key airport information. If you would like to have the Notes
bi-monthly newsletter sent to you, click here to sign up.


FAA Awards Memphis International Airport $31.8 Million Grant

In September, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded Memphis International Airport a $31.8 million grant to be used for runway safety, pavement and security projects.

The FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant will help pay for installation of an Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) at the south end of Runway 18R/36L. An EMAS uses crushable concrete placed at the end of a runway to stop an aircraft that overruns the runway. The system improves safety when land is not available to create standard-sized runway safety areas. The runway safety-area work is expected to begin in March 2013 and will take four months to complete.

In addition, the grant will be used toward a five-phase, $90-million project to reconstruct the concrete, aircraft-parking ramp that surrounds passenger terminal concourses A, B and C. The full project includes the demolition and removal of approximately 350,000 square yards of concrete and base material that is 40-50 years old and must be replaced, having served its useful life. more »

Reconstruction of the apron (aircraft parking areas) surrounding all three passenger terminals is being partially funded by the FAA grant. A recent photo of the work in progress shows the extent of the project.


DeWitt Spain Is Selected Tennessee Airport of the Year

General DeWitt Spain Airport has been selected 2012 Airport of the Year by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Aeronautics Division. Dewitt Spain is one of more than 70 general aviation airports in the state and one of two operated by the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

Generally, the selection criteria is the airport that most demonstrated in the past year a long-term commitment to its operation, appearance, maintenance and level of service by hosting a significant event or completing a big renovation or other similar activity. This year, the selection took a slightly different turn. General Dewitt Spain Airport was chosen for weathering a natural disaster - the historic 2011 Mississippi River flood, which submerged the airport under more than eight feet of water, inundating hangars, the runway and the terminal building. more »

Looking at the renovated facility and the devastation of the flooding is the only way to appreciate the remarkable rebirth of General DeWitt Spain Airport.


Memphis International Airport Will Be First Test Site for FAA's NextGen Digital Data

Memphis International Airport will be the first test site for the Federal Aviation Administration's new digital data communications technology, which will revolutionize communication between air traffic controllers and pilots.

The FAA awarded a $331 million contract last month to Harris Corporation Government Communications Systems to provide data communications integrated services, with a subcontracting team that includes ARINC Inc., GE Aviation and Thales. Initial testing is expected to begin in November at Memphis International Airport, using FedEx aircraft equipped for the tests.more »

The FedEx B777F will be among the aircraft equipped for the new FAA NextGen digital data tests.


"Arts in the Airport" 2012/2013 Concert Season Underway

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra began another season of "Arts in the Airport" concerts last month providing entertaining and soothing classical and pop music for Memphis International Airport passengers. Eight mini-concerts are scheduled for the 2012/2013 fall, winter and spring months. String and woodwind ensembles will each play for one hour in busy terminal locations on selected Fridays.

Performance times are 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. either across from the food court in Concourse B or near the Blue Note Café, located in the passenger connector between concourses A and B.

"The live performances by Memphis Symphony ensembles at Memphis International Airport provide an unexpected, unique and welcome diversion for air travelers," said Airport President and CEO Larry D. Cox. "For many years, this program has given a positive impression of Memphis and its widely diverse cultural assets to the thousands of air travel consumers and decision makers passing through our airport. It also helps distinguish Memphis International Airport from the many airports travelers use on a frequent basis." more »


AirTran Celebrates 15 Years at Memphis International

AirTran Airways celebrated its 15th year serving Memphis International Airport last month, marking the occasion with decorations, refreshments, live music and prize drawings for customers at the departure gate and ticket counter. Company officials came to town and joined the local employees in the festivities reflecting on a decade and a half of providing Memphis and Mid-South business and leisure air travelers with competitive fares. AirTran has been ranked the top airline in the Airline Quality Rating study three times in the past five years.

While this milestone anniversary was an opportunity to look back at its success in the Memphis market, it was also an opportunity to anticipate the future as AirTran transitions to the Southwest Airlines brand.

AirTran became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. last May and will continue to operate as a separate company until the process of fully transitioning to Southwest Airlines is completed over the next two years.


Airport Statistics Highlights


August 2012

August 2011

Year-to-Date 2012

Year-to-Date 2011

Total Passengers





Total Cargo Handled (lbs)





Total Aircraft Operations





For the full statistical report on Memphis International Airport, click here. | Click here to unsubscribe.
Memphis International Airport · 2491 Winchester Road, Suite 113 · Memphis, TN 38116-3856
©2012 Memphis International Airport