U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was in Memphis on Tuesday to tout the grand opening of a $300 million airport de-icing area that will help make cargo operations there more efficient as the busy holiday shipping season gets underway.
The Memphis International Airport is the country’s busiest cargo airport, largely thanks to the presence of locally based FedEx.
The new 3.3-million-square-foot (307,000-square-meter) de-icing facility “will be able to de-ice 12 wide-bodied cargo aircraft at the same time, right before they hit the runway, helping to get toys, and food, and medicine, and so many other things where they need to go, quickly and efficiently,” Buttigieg said.
It will also reduce shipping costs, he said, “because modernizing our supply chains is a critical element in that fight against inflation.”
The Transportation Department invested $174 million in the project, according to a news release.
Buttigieg also praised President Joe Biden’s efforts to improve America’s aging infrastructure, saying that is necessary to protect the supply chain long term, including from the growing treat of extreme weather.