Memphis International Airport is downsizing - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Memphis International Airport is downsizing

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) - -

The Memphis Airport is downsizing. They will be tearing out 25 gates and modernizing what's left.

The airport made the announcement earlier this morning.

The plans include modernizing Concourse B and consolidating the food and retailers to that area.

The five to seven year project includes removing the south ends of both the A and C concourses and adding moving walkways, wider corridors and larger boarding areas.

Business at the airport has been at a near standstill since Delta reduced operations there when Northwest merged with the airline and discontinued Memphis as a hub.

Southwest has since set up shop and brought in a couple of direct daily flights to and from Memphis. There are plans for more and the airport authority continues to court other low cost carriers in an effort to get them to fly in and out of Memphis.

"We have begun the process of reinventing the Memphis Airport," said Scott Brockman, MSCAA President and CEO. "Part of that reinvention involves consolidating operations so we can better serve our passengers, airlines, concessionaires, and employees. More importantly, we're going to modernize the B Concourse, giving our passengers more room to move, better lighting and more convenience."

Consolidation of Airlines/Concessions into the B Concourse

·         Airline flight operations will be consolidated into the B concourse.

·         Currently, Delta Air Lines operates out of the B Concourse. Southwest Airlines operates out of the A Concourse, while American Airlines/ US Airways and United Airlines operate out of the C Concourse. Frontier Airlines will also operate out of the C Concourse until the consolidation.

·         Ticketing/check-in will continue in A, B and C.

·         Baggage claim for all airlines will be consolidated into the B area, though the A and C baggage areas will still be open for passenger entrance and exit.

·         Security screening will primarily be consolidated to B, though a second security checkpoint at C will also be available for periods of heavy traffic.

·         Gates on the A and C Concourses will be closed but retained for future use.

·         About 60 gates will remain available to address future growth.

·         Concessions in the A and C Concourses will be moved to B, giving them greater exposure to concentrated numbers of passengers.

Enhancements to B Concourse

·         Corridors and airline gate/boarding areas in the B Concourse will be widened to give passengers more room as they move to and from gates and wait to board.

·         Moving walkways will be installed.

·         Ceilings will be raised and windows will be added, creating more space and more natural lighting.

·         New electronic flight information displays will be installed that include arrival and departure times for all airlines.

·         The airport will also perform seismic upgrades during the construction.

Removal of South Ends of A and C Concourses

·         The airport will remove the south ends of Concourses A and C to eliminate potential traffic barriers to aircraft operating out of the B concourse.

Construction Timeline and Budget

·         The project is expected to total approximately $114 million in capital costs, and the Airport Authority does not anticipate that this will require the issuance of any additional general airport revenue bond debt.

·         The project will not affect airfares.

·         The removal of the south end of Concourse A is expected to begin in late 2014, with the removal of the south end of C taking place in mid-2015. Airlines should begin moving to Concourse B by mid- 2015.

·         The three-phase modernization of the B Concourse is expected to begin in 2016 and is expected to be completed by 2020.

Please visit www.flymemphis.com for more information about the project.

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