Established in 1929, the Memphis International Airport (MEM) has continued to expand and improve its facilities throughout the years. Part of these expansions have included new runways and taxiways and runway extensions to enhance the growth and allow for increased air traffic and significantly larger aircraft in and out of the terminal.
Runway safety remains a crucial consideration in design, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has led the way to building safer, more sustainable, and more accessible airports across the United States. Aircraft deicing facilities have been incorporated into recent enhancement and improvement projects to airports across the country. Aircraft deicing removes frost, ice, slush, or snow from an aircraft, applying anti-icing protection to the aircraft’s surfaces for safer, more efficient travel. At many airports, essential deicing operations are performed at the gates and designated ramp areas of the terminal core. Each deicing pad should include a glycol containment system to capture the glycol runoff, reducing the negative impacts to the environment.
In November of 2019, the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA) received a FAA grant to assist in the construction of deicing pads and related facilities to aid in snow and ice removal at the airport. The design consultant, Kimley Horn, included a large storage tank in the site plan and worked with MEM to determine the best solution. Initially, a concrete vault system was selected but the cost to include was well outside of the original budget.
Ultimately, they decided to rebid the project with a more suitable solution after the original bid was overbudget. They were extremely impressed with a DuroMaxx® steel reinforced polyethylene (SRPE) glycol storage system by Contech Engineered Solutions. DuroMaxx® SRPE met all the project design requirements including the large storage capacity required, watertight joints, and the ability to effectively store the glycol chemicals. Additionally, DuroMaxx meets Buy American requirements and is approved by the FAA and has been used in various applications for multiple commercial and military airports around the U.S. adhering to the requirements of the federally funded project.
The final design included a DuroMaxx® SRPE glycol storage system of 2,960’ of 120-inch diameter (40' lengths) and 3,330’ of 84-inch diameter (48' lengths) and met AASHTO MP20 standard specification. The two different diameters allowed the pipe to be nested during shipment, providing additional cost-savings. To address flotation concerns of the 84-inch and the 120-inch diameter tanks, sufficient soil cover was utilized as the counter buoyancy system. The total storage for this system is 8.07 acre-feet (351,528 cubic feet).
The project engineer, Parsons, oversaw the installation of the DuroMaxx® SRPE storage system, which was successfully completed in February 2022. The final system included two inlets (36-inch and 48-inch) and a 60-inch outlet leading to a pumping station. The new deicing facility will provide a centralized location for airlines and cargo carriers to deice planes prior to take off. The facility will be able to accommodate a dozen 747s, according to the MEM officials.
Jason Burton, Parsons Project Manager, commented, “The DuroMaxx glycol runoff containment system provided by Contech was a successful sequence of the project which met the needs of the design and installed quickly.”