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The MEM Master Plan Update: Comments

Latest Master Plan Update Comments

30 responses

  1. Alex Avatar

    The airport and City of Memphis absolutely needs this renovation, so I think that they should just tear down the terminal in its entirety. While I do like the martini glass structure, in about a decade it’s going to look old again. People’s opinions about buildings, especially airports come from first and last impressions. If they could kind of retrofit the entrance to incorporate the martini glass structure while it looking more modern then that could also be a solution.

    I like the building a hotel at the airport but I am a little worried about it being too close to the concourse(s).

    Also in the plan I would like to see a part about keeping part of the airport for international/long haul flights, with blue oval city being built and the city growing, more people are gonna start coming to Memphis from around the country. The southwestern leg of the B Concourse needs to be part of the terminal renovation so that if Memphis does get more airlines then it won’t be a mess. Aside from international flights Memphis has the space to become a small hub, or even just a focus city. it would bring more revenue to the airport and the city, and it could bring more competition to the airport.

    *also this isn’t part of the renovation but I would like to see more airlines in Memphis like the new airline Avelo and especially JetBlue*

    1. Alex Avatar

      Also a couple things I forgot to mention

      make the entrance to the baggage claim much more presentable. Right now it looks like what it is, you’re leaving the brand new terminal to go the the old rinky dink basement. I’m assuming that will get addressed in the future.

      This will probably get addressed too but I’m just saying it for good measure, I hope they will expand the security area. TSA usually doesn’t have a great reputation for being friendly, and the aesthetic of the security checkpoint doesn’t help it. At all. Expanding it would make it feel much brighter, and we could probably get CLEAR at the airport!

  2. Rob Avatar

    Need to move Delta Sky Club or make an AA Club in B.

  3. Evan Avatar

    I really think that Memphis can still become a small hub for and airline. It needs some international flights. I think it could be a small regional hub for delta to keep Atlanta less stressed or it could be a United hub because United doesn’t have southeastern hubs. Or Memphis can be a hub for a low cost carrier or a stopover for JetBlue. Memphis has the space and I believe it will succeed.

  4. Andreas Raimov Avatar
    Andreas Raimov

    I think that the A and C concourses should not be demolished. They should be kept for international flights or for more capacity in the future. Also, I do think that the terminal needs to expanded roadside since there needs to be more space for check-in counters. I have flown out of this airport many times, and there are always large queues at the check-in counters, especially with American Airlines.

  5. Burkhard Renner Avatar
    Burkhard Renner

    These comments are probably too late to be included as part of the Master Plan Update. I believe that the Master Plan Update needs to include a section regarding surrounding land uses relative to Memphis International as well as the other general aviation airports. When the airport or the city is making land use decisions, it is important that the type and density of land use and its cumulative impacts are given careful consideration so that appropriate decisions are made for the airports, its context, and their environments. This would allow the Airport Authority to protect the “public health, safety, and welfare by encouraging the orderly expansion of these airports and the adoption of land use measures that minimize exposure to excessive noise and safety hazards within and around public airports to the extent that these areas are not already devoted to incompatible uses”. Generally, speaking this Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan (ALUCP) should look at areas within a two-mile radius of current boundaries within the 20-year planning horizon.

    1. Elijah Avatar

      You should check out the Memphis MPO’s Airport City Master Plan. It covers land use as you mentioned.

  6. Daniel Tracy Avatar
    Daniel Tracy

    Having been in the industry for 35+ years, I feel compelled to comment. I worked as an air traffic controller for the FAA for 32 years, I now work as a contractor for SAIC, teaching new controllers at O’Hare International. Most of my time has been spent at high volume air carrier airports such as LAX, STL, and ORD. My education includes a BS Degree in Aerospace Technology from Indiana State University. With the loss of passenger traffic due to the consolidation of NWA and DAL, the city of Memphis needs to work harder to attract airline traffic. It can be either as a small hub, or at least become a focus city, to make use of the large terminal space which was once a part of Northwest Airlines network. Offer incentives to the myriad of airlines out there who need a base that can provide the terminal and runway requirements for the new generation of aircraft which will lead us through the next 50 years. I watched a similar situation unfold at St. Louis in the early 2000s after American Airlines purchased TWA, putting an end to decades of international access. Southwest Airlines has turned St. Louis into a focus city, and Lambert Field is an integral part of their network, but there are no international non-stops. Memphis needs to attract a similar operation. Yes, Fedex provides millions of dollars, but the airline side needs a huge boost if Memphis is to again have the international travel that was once available with Northwest Airlines.

  7.  Avatar

    I think that if we are just going to have B as the main and only concourse, I think the current airlines need to up the flight frequency. It’s nice we have new airline offerings but i rather have more rights with who we have. Like with Southwest for example. Also I do feel we need to at least start working on the rest of B within the next 5 years and more parking. The airport this summer was pack and so was the parking.

  8. James Avatar

    If there are going to be any extensive renovations done to the landside terminals, I would consider taking a look at what Newark-Liberty International is doing. To me, design-wise, Newark and Memphis’s airports are no different from each other, and you could argue that ours is a miniature version of theirs, so it wouldn’t hurt to at least borrow some ideas from EWR.

    I would also consider reserving a portion of Concourse C for International Arrivals if need be, especially once reconstruction of the last leg of Concourse B gets underway. From what I understood at one of the two sessions MSCAA held, I believe that is what they ultimately plan on doing since there will be a Federal Inspection Station placed on the C side.

    Overall, I enjoyed the presentation that was given, and look forward to what the future holds for MEM.

  9. Charlie Vergos Avatar
    Charlie Vergos

    I don’t have any expertise over managing passenger flows or construction or logistics or anything like that and don’t have access to the projections on population growth or the regional economy I’m sure the planners do, I would just like to state that the only two things that would meaningfully improve my experience at the Memphis Airport are:

    a.) I’d much rather take high-frequency, reliable public transit to the airport, be it Light Rail, BRT, or busses than drive or Uber/Lyft or beg a friend for a ride. This would also reduce the need for parking that the plans assume for the future.

    b.) More direct flights, especially international flights, so I don’t have to change planes in Atlanta every single trip.

    I know neither of those things can be completely addressed in an airport renovation, I’d just like to put that out there. Other than those two things, while I do love the Concourse B redesign, the rest is just window dressing for me.

  10. Jeremy Robertson Avatar
    Jeremy Robertson

    Saw the master plan and I have a few words.
    1. The runways can handle at least a 747 at current rate, so why not have flights that utilize them or a dreamliner?
    2. Keep A and C concourses for long range flights or wide/ultra-wide aircraft so they can utilize those spaces better.
    3. New garages are a must plus a team as well. This airport was made to be modular.
    4. Bring back the airport hotel or have some first class style lounges for frequent flyers or business class like many other airports. Think of JFK, or any other like that.

    1. John H Avatar
      John H

      The airport doesn’t decide what types of planes that airlines fly to Memphis. Also, there are 747 freighters flying in and out of Memphis every year around Christmas (so right now). In fact from the window of my flight this morning I could see two Kallita Air 747’s parked just north of the ANG base. Furthermore, Memphis regularly sees 777 and MD-11 ops from FedEx every day.

      Outside of a charter flight or a diversion, Memphis will almost certainly never see a another 747 passenger flight. That’s not a knock on Memphis but rather a fact of the 747 disappearing rapidly from fleets around the world. A Dreamliner is more likely than a 747, but unlikely I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

      Memphis’s best hope of a new intercontinental flight is likely going to come in the form of a A321XLR which can reach the airports of Western Europe.

  11.  Avatar

    A ground-level tram from the proposed ride share lot -> economy garage -> short term parking-> terminal. That’s a long walk with luggage.

  12.  Avatar

    I think the plans are great. The A and C concourses should be demolished and the southwest leg of B needs to be renovated as having 35 gates would be plenty for more than double the flights Memphis currently has. Please do not make the check in area in A and C as that will be a lot of walking for passengers to then converge at the security checkpoint. Most importantly, the airport needs to work with Fedex, St Jude, Ford (blue oval city), Autozone, International Paper, the city council, and the Downtown commission to compare projections to see how these companies and the city might progress over the next 20 years.

  13.  Avatar

    I hope that MSCAA will collaborate with MATA to improve bus service to the passenger terminal and major employment centers, e.g. FedEx. Bike/ped access would be appreciated, although probably underutilized. An official plane-spotting location would also be nice.

    1.  Avatar

      Now that I’ve actually viewed the boards, I’ll elaborate. I’m glad that the original architectural features of the terminal are being retained. I’m also glad that vehicle circulation is being simplified and combined although the GT staging lot seems excessively large. I’m glad that MSCAA is maximizing usage of existing lots during construction. However, I still wish that MSCAA would prioritize public transit, biking, and walking access to the terminal and FedEx. I agree with other commenters that future transit improvements—be that light rail, BRT, or just better buses—should be planned for so that they are integrated smoothly with the terminal. I also hope that biking infrastructure will be improved on Tchulahoma Rd and Shelby Dr when runway extensions are constructed.

  14. Max Avatar

    Getting from the terminal to the checked baggage station is also not visually pleasing. The traveler goes from a brand new terminal to an old basement to retrieve their luggage. Most people remember the first and last things they see which is nice for people leaving or transferring planes, but we want people to have a good expectation when they land and STAY.

  15.  Avatar

    If a light rail transport system is in Memphis’s future, perhaps planning for the future airport station that flows with the renovation rather than a retrofit.

  16. Joe Avatar

    The Southwest leg of Concourse B needs to be renovated and reopened soon. Allegiant is planning on starting nonstop MEM to Mexico service soon and will be using the international gates frequently!

  17. Mark Williams Avatar
    Mark Williams

    The terminal remodel should’ve started immediately after the opening of the new concourse B. It’s long overdue. I do believe you should reconsider razing both A and C concourses. I see no mention or plans for international and long range flights.

  18.  Avatar

    It is beyond time to completely redo the terminal building for the airport. Although the architecture is iconic to Memphis, functionally the building is obsolete. Build the new terminal with a little bit of expansion room on either side for future uses in the case that Memphis does attract airline growth down the line. Demolish concourses and terminal A and C is the right call. I would question putting the hotel and parking garage too close to the terminal on that side but ensure adequate expansion space if you do build those. Should international flights grow and the need for gates grows you might consider building a new A and C concourses in the future. Either way I would say the master plan needs to encompass the next 20 years for growth.

  19. G.C. Avatar

    The #1 issue I have seen with visitors, by far, is checked baggage handling and delivery. It takes a long time, and the carousels are very outdated. I suspect the conveyors behind the walls are outdated as well. The baggage carousels create a terrible impression on visitors.

  20.  Avatar

    Hold on to portions of Concourse A & C for future growth. Use one for a new international flight wing and the other for smaller regional flights. Agree that a new hotel and parking garage could be attached to either Concourse A or C.

  21. Michael Williamson Avatar

    All this is well and good,but why is it taking this long to start these changes are critical to the city. As is modernize the downtown area,which is the center of the whole upgrade and crucial thereof,etc.

  22.  Avatar

    No objection to most of the plans, however I think you should leave space in the plan for a second concourse. Hopefully Memphis continues to pickup more flights, especially with Blue Oval City opening, and will need more gates.

  23. David Avatar

    With the growth potential of Memphis with Blue Oval City, are there any plans of having space for another concourse after tearing down A & C? I think having an airport hotel would be a better and safer option for travelers who are unfamiliar with Memphis and the area surrounding the airport.

  24. Jeremy Robertson Avatar
    Jeremy Robertson

    Why don’t you want to use concourse a and c? Wouldn’t those benefit international or long range flights?

    1. James Avatar

      35 gates in Concourse B is more than enough for MEM in both the short and long term, and I believe they will make a portion of Concourse C available for International Arrivals down the road – especially with Customs and a future Federal Inspection Station (FIS) being placed on that side.

  25.  Avatar

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