MEM, M03 Make the Move from Old to New
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On the evening of June 19, Memphis Tower (MEM) and Memphis TRACON (M03) opened the doors to their brand new facilities. These new facilities replace the old and outdated buildings that date back to the late 1970s. The culmination of 10 years of planning and building has resulted in a new tower that stands a staggering 340-feet tall at the tower cab level, as well as new TRACON facilities. While there are many fond memories to recall, in this case the changes in scenery are overwhelmingly welcome by most of the 35 NATCA controllers at Memphis. With that in mind, nothing is ever perfect, and it has been the job of these controllers to continue to ensure the aircraft are moved safely around the airport.

As with all major changes such as this one, there is a balance that must be struck between simply adjusting to new surroundings and identifying real issues that are present. Some of these issues had been overlooked by the FAA as this massive undertaking was coming to fruition. However, so far in this process, NATCA has again proved its worth by continuing to work without any significant interruption in service to the users. This includes one of the busiest and most complex mid-shift operations in the world. NATCA MEM simply stepped up and did the job as we always have.

These are the times that the brothers and sisters of NATCA must remain strong and vigilant to ensure the safety and integrity of the systems we use. This becomes even more imperative while so many things change around us so rapidly. So, as Memphis closes the chapter of the “old” tower and begins working traffic from the “new” tower, the many professional NATCA controllers at Memphis tower will continue to be the engine that drives safety day in and day out.

Ryan Bousquet
NATCA MEM, Facility Vice President

Click here to view the construction webcam, which now shows the new, completed tower standing alongside the old :