The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA) is currently undertaking a $214m project for the Memphis International Airport modernisation.

The project involves the integration of airline, retail, food and beverage operations in concourse B. It will also enhance airport operations with the addition of amenities and concession options.

Construction of the modernisation project commenced with the removal of concourse A in 2014 and is scheduled for completion in 2021.

The project is expected to cater to the needs of increasing traffic at the airport as the modernised concourse B will be capable of accommodating three million passengers a year.

Memphis International Airport modernisation background and details

MSCAA initiated the modernisation project as the design of the existing concourse only allows one-way aircraft traffic to and from the concourse B courtyard areas.

The airport authority presented detailed information on the modernisation during a business development and new project showcase event held in May 2017.

The project is being carried out in multiple phases and primarily includes modernisation of MEM’s concourse B and seismic upgrades. It will also feature moving walkways, wider corridors, larger boarding areas and higher ceilings, as well as increased natural lighting.

Delta Air Lines moved to concourse A and Allegiant Airlines to concourse C in 2017, while construction on concourse B started in early 2018.

The modernised concourse B will be opened in early 2021, followed by the consolidation and removal of the concourse C’s endpoint in mid-2021.

The project also involves the replacement of four baggage carousels in concourse B and the upgrade of jet bridges on concourse A.

Concourse B modernisation details

The modernisation of concourse B includes consolidation of airlines from both concourses A and C. Airlines to be consolidated into the concourse B include Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and United Airlines.

Retail operations in concourses A and C will be integrated into concourse B to provide more shopping and dining facilities for passengers.

“Concourse B will also feature new electronic flight information displays, which will provide details of flight arrivals and departures for all airlines.”

Baggage claim and security screening areas in concourses A and C will also be consolidated into concourse B. The concourse will feature more natural lighting and higher ceilings in order to create an open environment for passengers. Seismic upgrades will also be performed to improve safety against earthquakes.

The modernisation project also involves the addition of a children’s play area, a stage for live music in the Rotunda area, lounge areas and charging stations.

Concourse B will also feature new electronic flight information displays, which will provide details of flight arrivals and departures for all airlines.

Retail area upgrades at Memphis Airport

The modernisation project provides more food and beverage options for passengers with the addition of a new Starbucks and Urban Market outlets at checkpoint B, as well as Cinnabon Baked to Go at concourse C.

Italian-themed restaurant Torn Basil was opened near gate A27, while new Blue Moon bar will be opened near gates C1 and C2.

Lounges for travelling military personnel and nursing rooms were also added near gates A27 and C8 as part of the modernisation.

History of Memphis International Airport

MEM is the second busiest cargo airport in the world, only behind Hong Kong International Airport.

Opened in 1929, the airport serves an average of 140,000 passengers a month. It houses a number of national carriers, as well as FedEx’s Super Hub package sorting complex.

In 2017, the airport handled 4.1 million passengers and 4.3 million tonnes of cargo, witnessing 222,427 aircraft movements.