Memphis International Airport Unveils Plans for a New Ground Transportation Center

January 6, 2010

Consolidated Parking and Rental Car Facility is the Most Complete Airport Ground Transportation Center in the Country

MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Memphis International Airport today unveiled artist renderings and complete details for the new Memphis International Airport Ground Transportation Center. The Center, a complete, full-service facility for ground transportation needs at the airport, will offer unsurpassed service and convenience to travelers and the car rental companies.
The Ground Transportation Center, located between the existing three-level parking deck and the new 336-foot airport traffic control tower, will feature seven levels of ground transportation services. Designed with a unique 40-foot tall depiction of the airport flying music note logo, and built with an attractive outer skin of perforated metal panels that allows dramatic screened lighting, the Center and new control tower will present a dramatic and highly attractive new first impression upon entering the airport via ground transportation.

“Great care has been taken to make this a highly attractive facility, the nation’s most functional and passenger-centric facility, a “green” approach to ground transportation and a complement to the existing airport infrastructure,” said Larry Cox, president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. “This facility and the new control tower are key elements in transforming Memphis International from the 20th Century to the 21st Century.”

“The new Airport Traffic Control Tower, the third largest control tower in the United States, combined with this new Ground Transportation Center we are unveiling today, will stand as a dramatic symbol that Memphis International Airport continues to serve as the economic engine for the Memphis Region and as America’s Aerotropolis,” added Arnold Perl, Chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

Levels one and two of the Ground Transportation Center will feature all rental car services. Rental car companies will be able to house all of their customer service operations within the Center, including rental operations, return services and quick-turnaround vehicle service. A total of 1,250 rental car spaces will be available. The complete auto rental capabilities will eliminate any need for shuttle buses for the rental car companies.

Levels three through seven will feature 4,500 parking spaces for passengers. All spaces in the new Ground Transportation Center will be economy parking with “on airport parking, at off airport prices.” The services will include options for valet parking, where additional options such as auto detailing and oil changes will be offered.

The Center will be connected to the Airport Terminal with an 840-foot-long series of moving sidewalks, under attractive weather protecting fabric canopies, and landscaped for maximum visual effect as passengers approach the distinct martini glass architecture of the terminal building. The moving walkways will occupy space down the center of the current parking deck. The existing parking deck will be renovated and remain for short-term parking, premium long-term and accessible parking.

“The Ground Transportation Center will be not only very pleasing to the eye, highly functional and customer-centric, it is also the most environmentally responsible approach to ground transportation possible,” added Cox. “This Center eliminates all rental busses, reduces needs for virtually all remote parking buses, and saves the rental car companies the expense of transporting their customers off airport. When you combine it with our cell phone parking lot and the improved overall entrance and exit flow, we will be eliminating a tremendous amount of traffic exhaust from the airport experience.”

Cox points out that one of the key measures of an airport’s customer service experience relates to “getting in and out of the airport.”

“We are creating a comprehensive solution to the ground transportation experience at Memphis International Airport that is efficient and customer-focused at every level. We believe this Ground Transportation Center will offer the best experience of any airport,” Cox said.

Flintco, Inc. has been selected as the general contractor for the $89 million project. Walker Parking Consultants is the lead designer. Construction is scheduled to begin in March, with completion targeted for spring 2012.

The Ground Transportation Center and the new control tower are on the leading edge of improvements detailed in the 2027 Airport Master Plan completed in 2009.

Moving walkways transport customers between the Terminal building and the new Ground Transportation Center.

Moving walkways transport customers between the Terminal building and the new Ground Transportation Center.

Moving walkways transport customers between the Terminal building and the new Ground Transportation Center.

Moving walkways transport customers between the Terminal building and the new Ground Transportation Center.

The new Ground Transportation Center at Night

The new Ground Transportation Center at Night

Sunset view of the new Ground Transportation Center

Sunset view of the new Ground Transportation Center

Aerial view of the new Ground Transportation Center

Aerial view of the new Ground Transportation Center