Memphis International Airport Notes

December 2009

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Rebuilt Runway Now Open
for Business

After nine months of fast-tracked reconstruction, runway 9/27 reopened on schedule on November 30 in time for the busy Christmas travel season. The total reconstruction of the 8946’ east-west pavement cost $49 million.

The reconstruction used approximately 220,000 square-yards of concrete poured as a 20-inch surface pavement over several base layers. This concrete surface is much more durable than the old asphalt surface and is expected to significantly reduce future maintenance costs. The 20-inch surface pavement brings the runway’s strength up to the same level as the other three runways…more »

Photography by Cameron Davidson

Control Tower Nearing Completion

Construction on the new Airport Traffic Control Tower is entering the final stages. Workers are building the two-level tower cab by pre-forming it piece-by-piece on the ground, to make sure everything fits together properly. They will then dismantle the cab in sections and lift each section by crane to the top of the tower and bolt it in place.

When the cab is completed, it will be topped off with the radar dome and surrounding antennas. At 336 feet, the tower will be the third tallest in the country behind Atlanta (398’) and Orlando (345’).

Completion of the full tower structure is expected by next July after which the Federal Aviation Administration will begin electronic wiring and installation of the equipment. The new tower should be operational by early 2011.

Click to enlarge image.

Jim Ethridge Is Inducted into
Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame

On November 14, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority Board member, Jim Ethridge was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame for his extraordinary achievement and service to the aviation industry, for Tennessee, his country and the world.

Ethridge learned to fly in 1959 in his hometown of Union City, Tennessee. He received his private pilot check-ride a year later from aviation legend Evelyn Bryan Johnson. He later served alongside Johnson on the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission. His pilot ratings include commercial fixed-wing single, multi-engine and instrument ratings and commercial helicopter. Ethridge has owned and flown a variety of piston, turbo-prop, jet and helicopter aircraft…more »

Richard White Receives
Prestigious Award

Richard V. White, MSCAA’s Vice President of Properties and Business Development, was a recipient of a 2009 African-American Male Image Award from the Hobson-Goodlow Foundation and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

He was presented the award at the group’s 15th annual awards banquet on October 31. The banquet recognizes individuals in the Memphis community who “exhibit a sense of brotherhood for all mankind, have respect for scholarship, and are involved in community service.” The local awards recognize those who have made an impact on the local community in the areas of business, education, religion, corporate, arts and community service…more »

Photography by Skipworth

City Will Fund Landscape Master Plan
to Improve Front Door To the Region

Plough Boulevard, the main corridor from the Airport into the Memphis Region is about to receive an extreme makeover, thanks to a $1.6 million investment by the City of Memphis in a Landscape Master Plan. The Plough Boulevard Master Plan was initiated by the Aerotropolis Gateways and Beautification Committee as its first priority project for furthering the Aerotropolis Plan – an effort to expand the Memphis passenger and cargo hubs as a world-class business access anchor…more »

Airport Authority Wins Minority
Business Award for 3rd Time

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority was presented the 2009 Corporation of the Year award from the Mid-South Minority Business Council at their annual Robert R. Church Awards luncheon last month.

This marks the third time MSCAA has been chosen for the award (1995, 2000, 2009).

The Airport Authority was one of seven corporate nominees which included FedEx, First Tennessee, Memphis Area Transit Authority, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Southwest Tennessee Community College, and University of Memphis.

MSCAA was chosen for its support of minority and women-owned enterprises (M/WBEs) and its new “outreach initiative” designed to increase its M/WBE supplier base, and, for increasing overall spending with them from last year.

Travel Tips to Make Your Take-off
a Smooth One

Happy Holidays! The holiday season is a very busy time at the Memphis International Airport. The extra activity at the airport can be confusing for inexperienced travelers. To help you with a smooth take-off this year, we have put together some travel advice…more »

Airport Statistics Highlights


October 2009

October 2008

Year-to-date 2009

Year-to-date 2008

Total Passengers





Total Cargo Handled (lbs)





Total Aircraft Operations





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Memphis International Airport · 2491 Winchester Road, Suite 113 · Memphis, TN 38116-3856
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