$45 Million Memphis Int'l Airport Extension Opens

Yankee has the distinction of being the first taxiway in Memphis built for the Group 6 aircraft, the jumbos that include the Airbus 380 FedEx is scheduled to receive in 2009.

The authority is also seeking bids to retrofit the north portion of Yankee and about half of Taxiway Alpha to accommodate Group 6 airplanes. The taxiways will be widened to prevent erosion from the overhanging jet engines. The edge lighting will replaced with the recessed lights.

In Memphis, work at the airport is always attuned to the cargo shipping cycle. In the case of Yankee and Alpha, it must be finished by Nov. 15.

Many airports won't update at all for the jumbo planes because they don't expect the need.

FedEx has 10 firm orders for A380s and options on another 10. The first will begin arriving in 2009.

The first plane will tool down Yankee sometime today.



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