Gerald R. Ford International Airport
|Gerald R. Ford International Airport|
|Gerald R. Ford International Airport|
|IATA: GRR – ICAO: KGRR – FAA LID: GRR|
|Owner||Kent County Department of Aeronautics|
|Serves||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Elevation AMSL||794 ft / 242 m|
|Total Passengers||2,134,956 6.2%|
|Aircraft movements||85,306 2.6%|
|Sources: airport web site and FAA|
Gerald R. Ford International Airport (IATA: GRR, ICAO: KGRR, FAA LID: GRR) is a commercial airport located approximately 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 resident Gerald R. Ford, the 38th President of the United States.
The airport is the largest regional commercial service airport serving the West Michigan region, and is the second largest airport in Michigan behind Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. The airport offers service to 23 domestic and 1 international destination. The international service is to Toronto-Pearson in Canada. In 2011, the airport broke its previous record for total passengers, with 2,275,332 passengers.
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 regularly 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 commenced July 26, 1926. The airport expanded across 44th Street in 1948, and for a time, movable gates were used to keep traffic off the runway while it was in use. Another expansion was completed in 1952, however all signs pointed to the need for a completely new facility.
In 1959, construction began on the current facility in Cascade Township, several miles east of the original location. The new airport opened November 23, 1963, and officially dedicated June 6, 1964. The first scheduled flight was a United Airlines Boeing 737-200 on April 28, 1968, which arrived from Chicago O'Hare. The aircraft, registration number N9022U, was named The Jet Mainliner City of Grand Rapids.
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 project was completed in 2000, at a cost of approximately $50 million. Runways 8R, 26L and runway 35 are all ILS-equipped.
In 2004, the airport served more than 2 million passengers for the first time in a single year. In 2010, the airport broke the previous record set in 2004 with almost 2.2 million passengers served, as increase of over 23% from 2009.
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 also has one passenger terminal, consisting of a two-level main terminal and two concourses, labeled A, with seven gates, and B, with six gates.
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. Due to their size, the baggage processing areas were unable to accommodate the machines and instead, they were placed in the passenger lobby.
Airlines and destinations 
Gerald R. Ford International Airport is currently served by 7 airlines operating 150 daily flights to 23 destinations.
Top Destinations 
|1||Chicago, IL (O’Hare)||196,000||American, United|
|6||Denver, CO||66,000||Frontier, United|
Cargo carriers 
|FedEx Express||Memphis, Indianapolis|
|FedEx Feeder operated by CSA Air||Sault Ste. Marie, Traverse City, Pellston|
A total of 81,221,489 pounds of air freight were handled in 2012, representing an increase of 0.6% over the previous year.
Ground transportation 
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 
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, situated on Kraft Avenue north of 52nd Street, includes picnic tables, litter barrels, and a portable toilet. Radio station 1650 AM rebroadcasts transmissions by air traffic controllers, pilots, and GFIA airfield operations staff.
- "Measures of Michigan Air Carrier Demand". Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- FAA Airport Master Record for GRR ( PDF), effective January 11, 2013.
- Staff. "History & Statistics". Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
- "Allegiant Air closing GR base, some flights". Grand Rapids: WOOD-TV8. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- "Southwest to replace AirTran in GR". Grand Rapids: WOOD-TV8. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- Jim Harger (17 February 2012). "Frontier Airline's cancellation of Milwaukee-Grand Rapids flights tied to restructuring". The Grand Rapids Press (MLive.com). Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Gates (Map). http://www.grr.org/RTFI.php. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
- Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Terminal Map (Map). http://www.grr.org/Terminals.php. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
- Allegiant Air. Route Map (Map). http://www.allegiantair.com/aaRes/aaBookingFlow_1.php. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
- flight aware. grr-lga flight tracker (Map). http://flightaware.com/live/findflight?origin=kgrr&destination=klga. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- flight aware. grr-lga flight tracker (Map). http://flightaware.com/live/findflight?origin=kgrr&destination=klga. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- 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 November 29, 2011.
- Official website
- Michigan Bureau of Aeronautics
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: