Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Infobox Airport
name = Gerald R. Ford International Airport

type = Public
owner = Kent County Department of Aeronautics
operator =
city-served = Grand Rapids, Michigan
location =
elevation-f = 794
elevation-m = 242
website = []
r1-number = 8R/26L
r1-length-f = 10,000
r1-length-m = 3,048
r1-surface = Concrete
r2-number = 8L/26R
r2-length-f = 5,000
r2-length-m = 1,524
r2-surface = Concrete
r3-number = 17/35
r3-length-f = 8,501
r3-length-m = 2,591
r3-surface = Concrete
stat-year = 2006
stat1-header = Total Passengers
stat1-data = 2,015,846
stat2-header = Aircraft movements
stat2-data = 112,608
footnotes = Sources: airport web site [ Gerald R. Ford International Airport] , official site] and FAAFAA-airport|ID=GRR|use=PU|own=PU|site=09852.*A, effective 2007-12-20]

Gerald R. Ford International Airport airport codes|GRR|KGRR|GRR is a commercial airport located a few miles southeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Originally called Kent County Airport and later renamed Kent County International Airport, the airport was renamed for former United States President Gerald R. Ford in December 1999. GRR is the largest regional commercial service airport serving the west Michigan community, which connects to major airports such as Detroit Metro and Chicago O'Hare.


Aviation first came to Kent County on September 10th of 1911, when a Wright Biplane landed at the Comstock Park State Fairgrounds.

The first regularly scheduled air service in the United States was between Grand Rapids and Detroit on a Ford-Stout monoplane named "Miss Grand Rapids", which commenced July 26, 1926, from Grand Rapids' first airport which broke ground four miles (6 km) south of downtown in November 1919.

In 1948, the airport was expanded across 44th Street, and for a time, movable gates were used to keep traffic off of the runway while it was in use.

In 1959, construction began on a new facility in Cascade Township, several miles east of the original location. The new airport was opened on November 23, 1963, and officially dedicated on June 6, 1964.

The first scheduled Boeing 737-200 flight was flown for United Airlines on April 28, 1968 from Chicago O'Hare to Grand Rapids. 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 convert|8500|ft|m|sing=on runway 17/35 was added to allow the airport to continue operations during the $32 million reconstruction of runway 8R/26L, completed in 2001. Also, the passenger terminal's renovation project was completed in 2000, at a cost of approximately $50 million.

In 2004, the airport served more than 2 million passengers for the first time in a single year.



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 six gates) and B (with six gates).

The main terminal contains the ticketing lobbies, three baggage claim carousels, a gift shop, a food court, a KidsPort play room, a game room, five conference rooms, and two public business centers. Short term and long term parking are located in front of the terminal. The main terminal has 12 gates. WiFi service is available at no cost to airport patrons throughout the terminal facility.

When new baggage screening regulations were introduced by the Transportation Security Administration, the airport was one of the first in the nation to conduct trials on the new screening machines. Due to their size, there was no room to locate the machines "behind the scenes." Instead, they were placed in the middle of the lobby.

Airlines and destinations

Concourse A

* Air Canada Gate A3
** Air Canada operated by Air Georgian (Toronto-Pearson)
* Continental Airlines Gate A3
** Continental Connection operated by CommutAir (Cleveland)
** Continental Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines (Cleveland, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark)
* Midwest Airlines Gate A4
** Midwest Connect operated by SkyWest Airlines (Milwaukee)
* Northwest Airlines Gates A2,A5,A6 (Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul)
** Northwest Airlink operate by Compass Airlines (Orlando [seasonal] )
** Northwest Airlink operated by Mesaba Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul)
** Northwest Airlink operated by Pinnacle Airlines (Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, Washington-Reagan)

Concourse B

* American Airlines Gate B3
** American Eagle (Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth)
* Delta Air Lines Gate B4
** Delta Connection operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (Atlanta)
** Delta Connection operated by Comair (Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky)
* United Airlines Gates B1, B2 (Chicago-O'Hare, Denver)
** United Express operated by GoJet Airlines (Chicago-O'Hare, Denver)
** United Express operated by Mesa Airlines (Chicago-O'Hare)
** United Express operated by Shuttle America (Chicago-O'Hare)
** United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines (Chicago-O'Hare)

Cargo carriers

* ABX Air
* FedEx Express

Ground transportation

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

Metro Cab provides taxi and luxury sedan service at the passenger terminal building curb front.

Alamo/National, Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz Rental Cars are available at ticket counters located in the far east end of the terminal lobby. Budget Rental Cars are available via shuttle from the commercial lane located across from the terminal curb front.

The Rapid runs the Grand Rapids Air Porter from the airport to downtown hotels from April through October.

[] , Route 17 Woodland/Airport travels between the airport and Woodland Mall seven days a week. Routes 5 (weekdays only) and 6 (7-day service) provide service to Central Station from Woodland. From Woodland, Route 44 provides weekday only service to Rivertown Crossings Mall.

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.

There is also a viewing area, situated on Kraft Avenue north of 52nd Street. The viewing area includes picnic tables litter barrels and a portable toilet. At the viewing area, radio station 1650 AM rebroadcasts transmissions by air traffic controllers, pilots, and GFIA airfield operations staff.


External links

* [ Michigan Bureau of Aeronautics]

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