America's Aerotropolis

Memphis: America’s Aerotropolis

Known as “America’s Distribution Center” for the past three decades, Memphis is on the brink of redefining global logistics. America’s premier Aerotropolis – Memphis – has earned this distinction because our location, at the very heart of North America, provides easy access for moving people and product around the world.

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What is an Aerotropolis?

A city or an economic hub that extends out from a large airport into a surrounding area that consists mostly of distribution centers, office buildings, light manufacturing firms, convention centers, and hotels, all linked to the airport via roads, expressways, and rail lines.

How is the Aerotropolis concept being implemented?

In 2006, the Greater Memphis Chamber created the Aerotropolis Steering Committee to capitalize on the region’s logistics assets and initiate revitalization efforts of the neighborhoods bordering the airport as outlined in the MemphisED plan. After meeting for 4 years and accomplishing several milestones, the Committee called up on the City of Memphis and the Chamber to applied for and receive funding from HUD's Community Challenge Grant for the creation of master plan for the Airport City and surrounding areas. This master planning process is being overseen by Aerotropolis Project Manager, Chad Bowen, of City of Memphis' Office of Planning and Development. It's scheduled to be completed in the 3rd quarter of 2014. For more information on the Airport City Master Plan, please click here.

Where is the Memphis Aerotropolis located?

With the Memphis International Airport at the core, Memphis’ Aerotropolis region includes Shelby County, northern DeSoto and Tunica counties in Mississippi and western Crittenden County in Arkansas. Click here to see a map.

Why is Memphis the best example of an Aerotropolis?

Companies enjoy immediate access to all four modes of transportation within 20 miles of Memphis International Airport:

Home to the busiest air cargo airport in North America since 1992
I-40 - the 3rd busiest trucking corridor in the United States - is one of three major interstates in Memphis
Memphis is home to five Class I railroads - BNSF, CSX, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern and Canadian National
River The Port of Memphis is the fourth largest inland port in the United States
10.2% of Memphis' workforce are employed as workers in transportation, warehousing and utilities – the highest share among the top 100 Largest Metro Areas in the U.S.

Click here to see a full list of Memphis' transportation assets.

What are the ultimate goals of the Aerotropolis strategy?

  • Business attraction, retention and job creation
  • Improve connections to airport from business parks, residential areas and downtown
  • Infrastructure improvements and congestion mitigation
  • Increase airport cargo and passenger activity
  • Improve internal and external perceptions of Memphis as a place to live, work and do business.

Read more about America's Aerotropolis in the media.