Memphis International Airport officials plan to open the new, modernized Concourse B, replace the old three-story parking garage, and, of course, continue to expand air service all in the next five years.
The Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority issued its five-year strategic plan Friday. The plan is a roadmap for the board, which oversees the city’s airport but leaders said the plan (like any plan) can change.
“This document is a snapshot in time and identifes the plan of action formulated for today,” airport president and CEO Scott Brockman said. “Clearly, as with any ‘living’ document, this plan will be updated as necessary to recognize advancements and changes as we navigate towards the future.”
The plan outlines priorities for the major, physical pieces of airport - like the terminal and the runways - as well as looking at business changes in area’s like communications, hiring, and more.
Airport officials began a process to “modernize” its concourses years ago with the unveiling of its initial plans (which were to cost $114 million) in 2014.
At that time, airport officials planned for the new terminal to be completed in about six years. The plan will see all activity that was once spread through three concourses into one, Concourse B.
The plan will give that concourse “more spacious passenger hold rooms, expanded passenger movement areas, new moving walkways, higher ceilings, the introduction of more natural light, a stream-lined concessions program, and other amenities geared to exceed the high expectations of the modern traveler.”
The modernization plan would also make it easier for airplanes to move in and out the terminal, lowering the time needed for planes to get in and out of Memphis.
The strategic plan also calls for the replacement of the existing, three-story parking deck, which now sits between the new economy parking garage (also called the Ground Transportation Center) and the terminal. Officials are shooting to get this project completed sometime between 2020 and 2026.
The economy parking garage, which opened in 2012, may also get an upgrade. The five-year plan calls for the building to get baggage and flight check-in service by 2020.
The plan sets out environmental goals like adding vehicles charging stations in public parking lots, replacing current lights with LEDs, and catching more of the glycol used to de-ice planes.
The plan notes that airport officials are continuing to expand air service to and from Memphis. Officials want new flights with more frequency on larger airplanes. Specifically, officials are battling for more West Coast destinations and are working to enhance international air service.