Memphis International Airport Notes

April 2011

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Airport Cities a Big Success for Memphis and Memphis International Airport

For three days in April, the world of aviation was focused on one city and one airport – Memphis and Memphis International – as the prestigious Airport Cities World Conference and Exposition came to town. It was, without a doubt, the largest gathering of its kind ever assembled in Memphis, and the city did not disappoint.

A record number of 630 exhibitors, delegates and speakers from more than 40 countries attended the event, and media from around the world followed the news and activities. While many in attendance were familiar with the concept of an Aerotropolis, very few had actually experienced one. In conjunction with the Greater Memphis Chamber, and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority made sure that the international guests came away with a full understanding of our community as a destination for business and tourism. Delegates came away understanding not just how an Airport City works, but how a Quadra-Model transportation center (Runway, Road, Rail and River) works together for the common community benefit.

Speakers included a who’s who of aviation leadership and innovation, headlined by Professor John Kasarda, Director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at University of North Carolina, and founder of the Aerotropolis concept; Fred Smith, founder and CEO of FedEx; and Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson. But that is just the beginning. Speakers came from such diverse areas as Denver, Malaysia, Mumbai, Los Angeles, Chicago, Shanghai, Paris, Dubai, New York, Iran, Seattle, Washington, Dallas/Fort Worth, Brazil, and Taiwan, just to name a few.

The three-day conference featured a wide variety of activities in addition to the presentations, breakout sessions and exhibit hall. Among the highlights were an Airport City tour of the greater Memphis Aerotropolis, a tour of the FedEx Hub and social events at Graceland, Beale Street and a farewell rooftop reception at the Peabody.

Perhaps the best way to appreciate the Airport Cities World Conference is through photos and media coverage. The following is just a sample of some of the media coverage of the event (click to read the full article):

The Commercial AppealAirport conference puts Memphis in global spotlight

The Commercial AppealA French connection for Memphis

The Commercial AppealTaste of Memphis-style logistics sets the table for aerotropolis conference

The Commercial AppealDelta Airlines CEO lavishes praise on Memphis International Airport

The Commercial AppealAirports embraced as growth engines as international conference ends in Memphis

The Commercial AppealEditorial: Airport on the world's stage

The Daily NewsMemphis-Parent Pact Kicks Off Airport Cities Conference

The Daily NewsFront and Center

The Daily NewsReal Estate Key to Aerotropolis

The Daily NewsIndy, Pitt Execs Share Aerotropolis Hurdles

The Daily NewsAviation Summit

The Daily NewsConference Pits MEM At Center of Aviation World

The Daily NewsOn Display

The Daily NewsDetroit Official Weighs in on Aerotropolis Development

Memphis Business JournalAirport Cities World Conference brings international attention to Memphis transport industry

USA TodayCities build airport cities – 'aerotropolises' – for growth





Memphis, from Beale Street to the Airport, welcomed the representatives from more than 40 countries to Airport Cities in Memphis.


Registration at Airport Cities was one of the first places to see the wide international representation at the Conference, and to begin making important business connections.


The Exhibit Hall for Airport Cities featured booths and displays for companies, countries, cities and airports from around the world.


Larry Cox, president and CEO of Memphis International Airport was joined by Memphis Mayor AC Wharton Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell for the official ribbon cutting to open the conference.




U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-9) and U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) greeted the more than 600 delegates at the Welcome Reception and Official Exhibition Opening on Monday evening. Cohen also addressed the delegates at the beginning of the Conference sessions, where he discussed the Aerotropolis Act of 2010, which he introduced last year to direct hundreds of millions of dollars to the development of Aerotropolis transportation systems.


More than 40 countries were represented at the Memphis Airport Cities event, with booths and presenters from around the world, like this booth representing Taoyuan International.


The Key Note Address featured presentations by Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, FedEx (right) and Richard Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Delta Air Lines (left), along with a question and answer session with Professor John Kasarda, Director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at University of North Carolina.


The Airport Cities Key Note addresses by Fred Smith and Richard Anderson were must-see events filling the Peabody ballroom, even requiring a closed circuit broadcast of the event into the exhibit hall.


Larry Cox presented the Memphis approach to Aerotropolis, featuring the Quadra-Model transportation center of Runway, Road, Rail and River.


At the farewell reception on the Peabody rooftop, Alex Kirby (center), Managing Director of Insight Media, the Airport Cities Conference organizer from the United Kingdom, congratulated Arnold Perl (right), Chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, on the best and biggest conference to date, raising the bar for all conferences in the future. Larry Cox looks on.

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