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FedEx Blog

Runway Closure at MEM – No problem

March 10, 2009

I am sure many of you have heard the MEM Airport will be closing down one of its runways for repairs/resurfacing from March through November of this year. Let me spend a few minutes letting you know the actions we are taking to minimize the impact to our customers.

Normally at the MEM airport, FedEx’s uses a 3 runway arrival pattern. This means we can land up to 82 aircraft per hour. During the closure of Runway 9/27 (the impacted runway) we will only have the use of 2 runways so the airport capacity will be 56 arrivals per hour. Operating a two runway arrival pattern is not unprecedented, and depending on the time of the year we can be in this configuration ~25% of the time. The issue with the runway closure is we will be forced to operate with this limitation for nine months straight.

Historically, when we land using 2 runways, the sort in MEM is delayed 10-15 minutes. In lay terms this means all the planes departing MEM leave 10-15 minutes later than plan so it squeezes our delivery window at the destination. Rather than operate like this for nine months we have taken actions to minimize the impact.

Our Airline Scheduling team has retimed the inbound aircraft arrivals and even though the arrival rate has been reduced, we will start the conga line of inbound aircraft earlier so the sort can go down on time and the launch can begin as planned. The earlier arrival schedule means many planes will be departing earlier from their origin but in no instance have we changed customer cutoff times. This is a credit to our PM operations team for absorbing the impact of an earlier origin departure while making this change transparent to the customer. Another example of our total company support for the Purple Promise.

So if you hear we have one less runway at the MEM airport, don’t worry…..we have got it under control…..we are the reason you can sleep at Night. Relax it’s FedEx.


    stanley smith says:

    John is an outstanding leader. His blog posts are always inspirational! keep up the great work JD

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