Flashback Friday: Memphis Airport Opening Day in 1929

Adam Snider
March 23, 2018
Our Flashback Friday this week is to the opening day of what was then known as Memphis Municipal Airport, which happened all the way back in 1929.

The humble airport has grown in leaps and bounds in the decades since then. It changed its name to the current Memphis International Airport in 1969. MEM was the world’s busiest cargo airport in the entire world from 1992 until 2009. Hong Kong took over that title in 2010, but Memphis International remains the busiest U.S. airport for cargo operations, a title it has held for nearly a quarter-century.

The airport’s history page also notes this important part of its past: “Perhaps one of the most significant occurrences in the history of Memphis International Airport occurred in September 2004 when the Airport Authority negotiated the historic land swap between the Tennessee Air National Guard (TANG) and FedEx. The land swap provided TANG the space it needed to construct new facilities to accommodate the significantly larger C-5 Galaxy aircraft that the Guard were flying as part of its new mission. TANG’s relocation to the southeast corner of the airport freed space for FedEx to expand and consolidate its operations on the north end of the airport. TANG dedicated its new facilities in September 2008.”

We’ve also included an old postcard of the airport in 1941; there are many more pictures and postcards of MEM here.

Memphis International is also the home of AAAE Chair Scott Brockman, A.A.E., who serves as President and CEO of the airport.

Want to see your airport featured on the AAAE Blog? Send your historic airport pictures or videos to Adam so we can celebrate airports' past as we look to the future. Thanks!

Memphis Municipal Airport on opening day in 1929

A postcard of Memphis Municipal Airport in 1941