Memphis International Airport (MEM) in Tennessee has scheduled the opening of its US$245m modernized B Concourse for February 15.
The new concourse will have 23 gates available to airlines, which can accommodate about 6,000,000 passengers – about 50% more traffic than MEM’s pre-pandemic levels. The multi-year project will showcase the modernization of the spine and east leg of MEM’s B Concourse as well as the consolidation of all airline, retail, food and beverage operations.
The redesign includes wider corridors, moving walkways, larger boarding areas, higher ceilings and increased natural lighting. Additional charging stations, lounge areas and air-conditioned jet bridges have also been added. Alongside this, the modernized terminal features a children’s play area, a stage for live music and an art program, which represents 62 Memphis artists.
By the end of the project, the stem and southeast leg of the B Concourse will be completely modernized and will house all airline, retail and restaurant operations. Ticketing/check-in will continue in the A, B and C Terminals. Security screening is not anticipated to change and will primarily be consolidated to B, although a second security checkpoint at C will also be available for periods of heavy traffic. A and C concourses will be closed but will be retained for possible future use. The end of the C concourse will be removed in order to facilitate more efficient airline traffic to and from the B concourse.
As the southwest leg was not redesigned during the first phase of modernization, it will only be used for international arriving flights. The airport is considering another modernization phase for the west leg of B Concourse, which contains about 15 more gates and increase capacity to nearly 11 million annual passengers. However, this will depend on the continued long-term growth of MEM.
As the project nears completion, work continues on concessions, retail, and airline operations space on the ground level. Airlines, restaurant and retail employees will also conduct training for their staff in the coming weeks. However, progress on the project has been slowed in recent months by workforce and supply chain-related issues as a result of Covid-19.
The first flight at the new concourse is scheduled to be a Delta Air Lines flight arriving at MEM on February 15 at 6:18pm. Michael Keeney, chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board of commissioners, said, “This is an exciting day for MEM, Memphis and our passengers. We are truly reinventing the Memphis travel experience, and we can’t wait to welcome our passengers on February 15.”