Gerald R. Ford International Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Gerald R. Ford International Airport.jpg
Aerial of Ford International.jpg
Gerald R. Ford International Airport
IATA: GRRICAO: KGRRFAA LID: GRR
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Kent County
Operator Kent County Department of Aeronautics
Serves Grand Rapids, Michigan
Elevation AMSL 794 ft / 242 m
Coordinates 42°52′51″N 85°31′22″W / 42.88083°N 85.52278°W / 42.88083; -85.52278Coordinates: 42°52′51″N 85°31′22″W / 42.88083°N 85.52278°W / 42.88083; -85.52278
Website www.flygrandrapids.org
Map
GRR is located in Michigan
GRR
GRR
Location of airport in Michigan
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
8R/26L 10,000 3,048 Concrete
8L/26R 5,000 1,524 Concrete
17/35 8,501 2,591 Concrete
Statistics (2013)
Total passengers 2,237,979 Increase 4.8%
Aircraft movements 75,998 Decrease 10.9%
Sources: airport web site[1] and FAA[2]

Gerald R. Ford International Airport (IATA: GRRICAO: KGRRFAA LID: GRR) is a commercial airport about 13 mi (21 km) southeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan in Cascade Township. Originally called Kent County Airport and later Kent County International Airport; in December 1999 the airport was renamed for former president Gerald R. Ford, the 40th Vice President and the 38th President of the United States.

The airport is the largest commercial airport in the West Michigan region and is the second largest airport in Michigan after Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. The airport has flights to 23 domestic cities. In 2011 the airport broke its record for passengers, with 2,275,033 total.

History[edit]

Grand Rapids' first airport broke ground in November 1919, four miles (6.4 km) south of downtown. This was eight years after the area witnessed its first airplane landing which was a Wright biplane at Comstock Park State Fairgrounds on September 10, 1911. The airport was operated by the Kent County Board of Supervisors.

The first scheduled air service in the United States was between Grand Rapids and Detroit (actually Dearborn's Ford Airport) on a Ford-Stout monoplane named Miss Grand Rapids, which started July 26, 1926. Circa 1940 the airport was between 32nd and 36th St, from Jefferson Ave east to the railroad; the west end was soon extended south to just north of Himes St and in the 1950s one 5700-ft runway reached south to 44th St.

In 1959 construction began on the present airport in Cascade Township, several miles east of the original one. The new airport opened November 23, 1963 and was dedicated June 6, 1964; it had 6600-ft runway 8/26 and 3400-ft 18/36.[3] The first scheduled jet was a United Airlines Boeing 737-200 on April 28, 1968 from Chicago O'Hare. The aircraft, N9003U, was named 'City of Grand Rapids'.{BOEING 737 by Malcolm L. Hill, The Crowood Press, 2002, pp. 52–53} In 1968 the only scheduled nonstops beyond Michigan were to Chicago and Green Bay.

On January 27, 1977 Kent County Airport was renamed Kent County International Airport with the opening of a U.S. Customs Bureau Office in the main terminal building.

In 1997 the new 8,500-foot (2,600 m) runway 17/35 was added to allow the airport to continue operations during the $32 million reconstruction of runway 8R/26L, completed in 2001. A passenger terminal renovation was completed in 2000 at a cost of about $50 million. Runways 8R, 26L and runway 35 all have ILS.

In 2004 the airport served more than 2 million passengers for the first time in a year.[1] In 2010 the airport broke the 2004 record with almost 2.2 million passengers, as increase of over 23% from 2009.

Until October 31, 2011 the airport was a focus city for Allegiant Air.[4]

In January 2012 Southwest Airlines announced it would continue Airtran flights to Grand Rapids and eventually transfer them to Southwest.[5]

In April 2012 Frontier Airlines ended flights from Grand Rapids to Milwaukee.[6]

Facilities[edit]

Gerald R. Ford International Airport has two parallel east-west runways and one north-south runway. Along with cargo and general aviation facilities, the airport has a two-level passenger terminal with two concourses: A has seven gates and B has six.[7]

Concourse A's tenants are Allegiant Air and Delta. In concourse B are American Eagle, Southwest Airlines and United.[7] All gates have climate-controlled jetways.

When new baggage screening regulations were introduced by the Transportation Security Administration in 2002, the airport was one of the first in the nation to conduct trials on the new screening machines.[3] The baggage processing areas were too small for the machines so they were placed in the passenger lobby.[8]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Gerald R. Ford International Airport is served by 5 airlines with 150 daily flights to 23 destinations.

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Allegiant Air Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale[9]
A
American Eagle Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth B
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul A
Delta Connection Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia
Seasonal: Orlando
A
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Denver, Orlando, St. Louis, Tampa
Seasonal: Fort Myers
B
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare
Seasonal: Denver
B
United Express Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles B
US Airways Express Charlotte, Philadelphia B

Top destinations[edit]

Top ten busiest domestic routes out of GRR
(July 2013 – June 2014)[10]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Chicago, IL (O'Hare) 194,000 American, United
2 Detroit, MI 163,000 Delta
3 Minneapolis/St Paul, MN 145,000 Delta
4 Atlanta, GA 118,000 Delta
5 Denver, CO 84,000 Southwest, United
6 Baltimore, MD 66,000 Southwest
7 Dallas, TX 57,000 American
8 Orlando, FL 42,000 Delta, Southwest
9 Cleveland, OH 32,000 United
10 Cincinnati, OH 26,000 Delta

Cargo Carriers[edit]

Airlines Destinations
FedEx Express Memphis, Indianapolis
FedEx Feeder (operated by CSA Air) Sault Ste. Marie, Traverse City, Pellston

81,221,489 pounds of air freight were handled in 2012, representing an increase of 0.6% over the previous year.

Ground transportation[edit]

The airport is at the intersection of 44th Street and Patterson Avenue. It abuts I-96 on the east, M-6 on the south, M-37 on the west, and M-11 on the north.

Metro Cab and Metro Cars provides taxi and luxury sedan service and several car rental agencies operate rental counters in the airport.

Route 17, Woodland/Airport, travels between the airport and Woodland Mall seven days a week.

Aircraft spotting[edit]

The airport has two aircraft spotter locations. There is an observation deck located on the mezzanine level of the passenger terminal building, which gives a relatively unobstructed view of the ramp area and runway 8R and 26L.

An outdoor viewing area on Kraft Avenue north of 52nd Street has picnic tables, litter barrels, and a portable toilet. Radio station 1650 AM broadcasts transmissions by air traffic controllers, pilots, and GFIA operations staff.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Measures of Michigan Air Carrier Demand". Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for GRR (Form 5010 PDF), effective January 11, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Staff. "History & Statistics". Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Allegiant Air closing GR base, some flights". Grand Rapids: WOOD-TV8. August 12, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Southwest to replace AirTran in GR". Grand Rapids: WOOD-TV8. January 20, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ Jim Harger (February 17, 2012). "Frontier Airline's cancellation of Milwaukee-Grand Rapids flights tied to restructuring". The Grand Rapids Press (MLive.com). Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Gates (Map). http://www.grr.org/RTFI.php. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  8. ^ Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Terminal Map (Map). http://www.grr.org/Terminals.php. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  9. ^ Allegiant Air. Route Map (Map). http://www.allegiantair.com/aaRes/aaBookingFlow_1.php. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  10. ^ Research and Innovative Technology Administration (November 30, 2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Gerald R. Ford International (GRR) Scheduled Services except Freight/Mail (Report). Bureau of Transportation Statistics. http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1&Airport=GRR&Airport_Name=Grand%20Rapids,%20MI:%20Gerald%20R.%20Ford%20International&carrier=FACTS. Retrieved Sep 15, 2014.

External links[edit]