Memphis International Airport Notes

October 2007


Planning for the Future

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has hired a consulting company to develop a new Master Plan to define the strategic steps needed over the next 20 years to accommodate the diverse needs of its airline tenants. The last Master Plan was completed in 1986. It was updated in 2000 to reflect changes in the industry and in the demand levels that occur periodically. All of the needed recommendations from the previous plan and its update have been implemented and now it is time to look at the future.

The Master Plan will be done in concert with the planning of Memphis' Aerotropolis the identity coined by airport consultant, John Kasardas, which describes Memphis as the nation's prime prototype of a global economy with the airport as the central driving force.

Jacobs Consultancy of San Mateo, California, will develop the new Plan over the next two years using a team of consultants who have specific expertise in the various aspects of the project. They will work in collaboration with the Airport Authority to confirm the vision for the Airport's long-term development.

Two new features to this Master Plan will be a Seismic Risk Assessment and an Emergency Role Assessment.

The Seismic Risk Assessment will evaluate the vulnerability of our existing facilities to determine their ability to survive and function following a notable earthquake. This component of the Master Plan will be performed by Thornton Tomasetti, experienced consultants in seismic engineering/risk assessment. The group will make recommendations in close co-ordination with Jacobs Consultancy.

Additionally, the Master Plan will look at what response and recovery role Memphis International Airport could play in a major disaster similar to Hurricane Katrina.

In order to create an in depth plan, a complete inventory of existing facilities and infrastructure, operational capacity and historical passenger and cargo airline activity levels needs to be completed. Then, after analysis and consideration of industry trends, projected tenant needs, and updating forecasts of passenger and cargo activity, recommendations will be made for a systematic demand-driven development.

A major emphasis of the study will be on creating a development strategy for the existing terminal building which is more than 50 years old, while balancing that strategy with all of the ongoing airside and groundside improvements.

Potential future scenarios will be posed in the Master Plan with all planning, modeling and proposed development outlined to meet these potential scenarios. Creating potential scenarios helps ensure the Master Plan has sufficient flexibility to evolve with changing circumstances and provides specific measures to manage the potential affects of an unpredictable airline industry.

The plan will establish priorities reflecting the underlying population and economy, regional and national aviation trends, air service assumptions, and market risks. The two-year process will result in a Plan that will maximize the use of existing facilities, optimize operational efficiency, minimize the consumption of natural resources, and minimize negative impacts on the community.

It will engage the involvement of all stakeholders to ensure the vision is a shared vision.


Memphis International Airport

Memphis International Airport
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