Indicates a problem with a small aircraft. (Mutual aid response is not requested.)
Information about GFIA for media entities and how the media can interact with GFIA.
News media may leave their marked vehicles in the designated parking area near gate 4 while on assignment at GFIA. This parking area can be accessed by taking Ross Drive (runs parallel to Oostema Blvd. on the south side) to Freight Drive. Turn left off Freight Drive and the parking area is on the left. The vehicle does not have to be attended. Live feeds should also be conducted from this location.
Click image to enlarge map.
Emergencies are classified into the following categories:
An aircraft capable of carrying no more than 9 (nine) passengers. (This includes most general aviation aircraft.)
An aircraft capable of carrying 10 (ten) or more passengers. (This includes all commercial airline aircraft, air cargo jet aircraft, and large corporate jets.)
Gerald R. Ford International Airport has standard responses to each alert condition. These responses may include mutual aid support from the City of Grand Rapids and surrounding municipal fire, police, and medical units.
Questions regarding a specific aircraft emergency, including aircraft type, number of passengers, nature of emergency, and flight information must be made to the:
Yes. News media may film or photograph publicly accessible areas without the permission of the Airport Authority. As a courtesy, airport officials ask news organizations to notify the Gerald R. Ford International Airport at 616-233-6055 when a news crew/photographer is sent to film at the airport.
No. The federal security guidelines in force since 9/11 allow only for active loading and unloading by airport visitors, and only authorized government and security vehicles may be parked at the drop-off and pick-up curbs -- and those vehicles must remain in specially marked areas. Media may leave marked vehicles in the designated media and delivery vehicle parking area near gate 4 while on assignment at GFIA. Unmarked and/or personal vehicles must be parked in one of the airport's public parking facilities. Parking will not be validated for media personnel using the public parking facilities.
Sometimes. The need for an escort will depend on the area to be accessed. It is always best to call ahead so that arrangements for an escort may be made if staffing is available.
Media may go beyond the TSA checkpoint only if escorted by an employee of an airline, the TSA, or the Airport Authority. Otherwise, only ticketed passengers may go beyond the checkpoint into the gate areas.
The designated area for live shots is the designated media and delivery vehicle parking area near gate 4 while on assignment at GFIA. If there is a valid reason for media to request a different live shot location, that request will be considered. However, media should understand that a change in live shot location will be the rare exception rather than the rule. Also, safety and security of aircraft and passengers will always have the highest priority. If a TV station is seeking a special arrangement, such requests should be made at the earliest possible time.
AOA - Aircraft Operations Area
ARFF - Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting
ATCT - Air Traffic Control Tower
DHS - Department of Homeland Security
DOT - Department of Transportation
FAA - Federal Aviation Administration
FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation
FBO - Fixed Base Operator
GFIA - Gerald R. Ford International Airport
GFIAA - Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority
GRR - Airport Identifier for Gerald R. Ford International Airport
NTSB - National Transportation Safety Board
TSA - Transportation Security Administration
It is the policy of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority to cooperate with all media representatives to make timely, accurate, and comprehensive information available. The Authority will make every effort to work within media deadlines. Remember that the Authority does not represent the airlines or any other tenant of the airport.
News releases are issued to describe changes in services, airport construction, notices to travelers, etc. A list of local newspapers, television and radio stations, and websites is used to send releases by email. Please advise the Marketing and Communications Director if you would like to be placed on the distribution list or if your email address changes. New releases are also posted on the airport website.
When the Authority has a major announcement that will affect travelers or would like to make the public aware of an issue of importance at the airport, a news conference may be called. Advance media advisories will be issued to alert media organizations of the upcoming event, and news releases and other materials will be provided at the event.
All requests for interviews with the Airport Authority should be made in advance to Mary Ann Sabo at 616-389-0845 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Brian Greenleaf at email@example.com. If you are interested in filming a particular airline operation or other tenant operation or facility, you must contact the airline/tenant directly to obtain approval. Inquiries about individual airlines should be made to the particular airline public affairs office. Please note: Security restrictions are critical to airport safety and will take top priority in every instance.
Certain airport operations fall under the jurisdiction of different agencies operating at the airport. The news media should go through the appropriate agency public affairs office for interviews and information. If you are unsure as to which agency has jurisdiction over a particular issue, facility, or incident, you may contact airport operations at 616-233-6055.
Aircraft Operations/Air Traffic Control:
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for air traffic control, airway navigation. FAA also has regulatory authority regarding certification and operation of the airport. Related inquiries should be directed to the FAA Great Lakes Region Public Affairs Office at 202-267-3333.
Individual airlines/aircraft operators are responsible for issues relating to that particular company, including labor issues, on-time performance, flight schedules, baggage issues, customer service performance, etc.
The level of airport security is established by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). TSA is responsible for security screening of all passengers and all checked and carry-on luggage. TSA also has regulatory authority regarding airport and airline security. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority (GFIAA) is responsible for law enforcement at the airport. Inquiries pertaining to passenger security should be directed to the TSA at 616-554-9041.
The Airport Authority is responsible for daily operation of the airport. Media inquiries pertaining to terminal and airfield operations, air service development, parking, construction, etc., should be directed to the marketing and communications director.
Gerald R. Ford International Airport's passenger terminal is a public facility operated by the GFIAA. News media may film or photograph publicly accessible areas without the permission of the Authority. As a courtesy, airport officials ask news organizations to notify the Marketing and Communications Director, or airport communications center, at 616-233-6055, when a news crew/photographer is sent to film at the airport.
When filming at the airport, taking still photos, or conducting interviews, the news media are required to overtly display press identification. The news media may not leave equipment unattended or stage equipment or personnel in a manner that will block or restrict movement through major pathways, emergency escape routes, or emergency exits. Likewise, no filming or conducting of interviews will be permitted to interfere with any airport or airline operations.
Please note: Security restrictions are critical to airport safety and will take top priority in every instance. Unauthorized access to a restricted area of the airport will result in arrest and denial of future access.
The observation deck at the airport provides a view of the portions of airfield and some aircraft gate positions. The deck is located in the passenger terminal main hall on the mezzanine level, above the exit from Concourse A. There is also an outdoor public viewing area located immediately south of the airport on Kraft Avenue.
The areas leased by the airlines and other tenants are under the control of those entities, and news media access must be approved by the appropriate tenant. These areas include, but are not limited to, ticket counters and associated queuing areas, shops, restaurants, and aircraft hangars and associated property.
The security screening areas are operated by the Transportation Security Administration in space leased for that purpose. TSA policy prohibits filming or photography in the vicinity of these areas. Filming of the monitors that display items being screened and the wanding and pat down process is strictly prohibited. Filming or still photography is not permitted within 20 feet of any screening device at the airport.
Airfield access is strictly controlled. Requests for filming in the aircraft movement areas will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Prior notification is essential to ensure adequate staffing exists to perform escort duties. Requests for access will be accommodated to the extent staffing and operational considerations permit. In the event of an emergency situation or other event that requires the full attention of the Authority staff, a prearranged escort may be cancelled, with or without notice.
If a criminal investigation is under way, coordination of news media activity will be the responsibility of the Airport Authority. The GFIA Police will control filming of crime scenes or other investigative events.
News media personnel may park marked vehicles in the designated media and delivery vehicle parking area near gate 4 while on assignment at GFIA. If space is not available in this area, media personnel should park in the public parking facilities. (Please note that vehicles entering the parking garage may not exceed 8-feet 2-inches in height. Taller vehicles will need to opt for the North Lot or the Economy Parking Lot.) Personal or unmarked vehicles must always be parked in the public parking facilities. Parking will not be validated for media personnel using the public parking facilities.
If prior permission has been obtained from an authorized airport representative for parking in locations other than those mentioned above, a dash placard - issued by the Airport Police Office - must be prominently displayed in the windshield and vehicles may not be left unattended in those locations without express permission from authorized airport personnel.
The Airport Authority reserves the right to restrict news media activity at any location on airport premises if public security, safety, or operational concerns so warrant.
It is the policy of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority to cooperate with the news media to the greatest extent possible. Our primary responsibilities, however, are safe, secure, and orderly airport operations. When there is an emergency situation at Gerald R. Ford International Airport that is expected to generate extensive news media attention, the following procedures will serve as guidelines:
Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority (GFIAA):
The GFIAA maintains operational control of the airport during aircraft emergency situations (i.e., determines extent of runway/facility closures, operational restrictions, etc.).
National Transportation Safety Board:
The NTSB and the FAA are the federal agencies that investigate aircraft accidents. They also take custody of the aircraft and its contents from the time fire/rescue activities are concluded until a full investigation is completed, or a release is given. The Airport Authority Communications staff may assume a support role to the NTSB or the FAA at their request.
The NTSB also operates a Family Assistance program intended to assist family members of those involved in an aircraft incident. Family counseling, victim identification and forensic services, communicating with foreign governments, and translation services are among the services with which the federal government may help local authorities, the Red Cross and the airlines respond to a major aviation incident.
Federal Aviation Administration:
Various branches of the FAA have responsibilities in an aircraft emergency. The FAA operates the control tower at Gerald R. Ford International Airport and would control air traffic during an emergency to permit rescue equipment to proceed to the accident site. Once the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower initiates an alert at the airport, the Airport Operations division assumes control of the airfield until the emergency has concluded.
The involved airline/aircraft operator is responsible for providing information regarding passengers aboard the aircraft and any detailed information about the flight, crew, and the aircraft.
GFIAA Police Unit:
The GFIAA Police unit is responsible for establishing and maintaining a security line at the incident site and ingress/egress points, and patrolling the airfield.
GFIAA Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Unit (ARFF):
The Airport Authority ARFF unit is responsible for firefighting, rescue, and emergency medical response.
Federal Bureau of Investigation:
The FBI has jurisdiction if a hijacking or hostage-taking incident occurs aboard an aircraft that is still on the ground. If the aircraft is in flight, the TSA has jurisdiction.
Transportation Security Administration:
The FBI has jurisdiction in the event of an act of terrorism aboard an aircraft on the ground. If the aircraft is in flight, the TSA has jurisdiction.
Off-Airport Aviation Emergencies
In the event an aircraft accident occurs outside the airport boundaries, airport officials will assist and cooperate as much as possible. However, the municipality in charge will have jurisdiction over the accident area. In this case, the primary media contact is the aircraft owner and the information officer with jurisdiction over the accident area.