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Airborne-Unlimited-07.10.24 HOLIDAY


Sat, Dec 03, 2022

New $330-Million Memphis De-Icing Pads Feted

Buttigieg Lauds Supply Chains

Federal, state, local, and business leaders gathered to acknowledge the completion of 3.3 million-square-feet of de-icing pads at Memphis International Airport (MEM), FedEx’s primary hub and home to the company’s largest air-cargo sorting facility. The pads, which are sufficiently large to contemporaneously de-ice a dozen wide-body cargo aircraft, promise to keep FedEx’s freighters ice-free, thereby ensuring their cargo absolutely positively arrive safely at their respective destinations.

The FAA ponied-up $174-million of the MEM de-icing pads’ $330-million price-tag.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg remarked: “This holiday season and every season, it’s critical that American families and businesses get the goods they need when they need them. Memphis International Airport is the biggest cargo airport in the country, and this innovative aircraft de-icing facility is one of the many ways we’re modernizing America’s supply chains.”

Innovations such as message boards, taxiway lead-in lights, and infrared cameras—all of which are engineered into the MEM de-icing pads—eliminate the need for audio communications with pilots, follow-me vehicles, and marshallers.

De-icing aircraft at a central pad—instead of the gate—allows subject aircraft to depart more expeditiously, thereby reducing the need for subsequent applications of de or anti-icing fluid. What’s more, the MEM pads feature a segregated drainage system and large-volume containers to which collected de-icing fluid returns for storage, and ultimately metered release into the city’s sanitary sewer system, where it breaks down and helps sanitize city wastewater.

Deputy FAA Administrator A. Bradley Mims remarked: “Innovative projects like this are key to improving safety, increasing efficiency and advancing sustainability across the country.”

FedEx president and CEO Richard W. Smith—whose company, along with United Parcel Service (UPS)—has been called upon by the attorneys general of 18 U.S. states to explain why they are compiling illegal databases on law-abiding American gun owners—added: “We want to thank the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration and Memphis International Airport for their support of this new Consolidated De-icing Facility - an example of how to deploy technology to improve operational efficiency. The timing could not be better as FedEx enters the busy holiday season. This facility is a shining example of how we can help ensure our team members are safely operating throughout the winter season as we deliver outstanding service for our customers.”



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