Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 6, 2020 – As the Michigan economy continues to re-emerge from COVID-19, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport is introducing its new Fly Safe. Fly Ford. campaign to educate travelers on new precautions for their health and to restore confidence in air travel.
The Ford Airport has established a number of new safety measures that travelers will see as they make their way from the parking garage to the jet bridge. Enhanced sanitation protocols, installation of protective guards and increased signage promoting best practices are a few of the more prominent changes.
Passengers and guests who are medically able to do so are asked to wear facial coverings throughout the terminal, as are all Ford Airport personnel. The Airport has a limited number of facial coverings provided by FEMA that will be distributed to ticketed passenger and are available at the visitor information desk until supplies run out. Travelers and guests will also have the opportunity to purchase facial coverings and other personal protective equipment in concession areas and through vending machines.
Ford Airport has been in close contact with its six airline partners, who are implementing their own in-cabin measures. More safety information can be found on their individual websites.
“For decades, the Ford Airport has played a critical role in connecting people to the possibilities of the world,” said President and CEO Tory Richardson. “While many are longing to travel again, understandably there are questions of how to remain healthy while flying
“Our Fly Safe. Fly Ford. campaign is designed to highlight the numerous steps we have taken to keep passengers safe while still offering a comfortable travel experience. Our easy-to-navigate size has been a factor in our pre-COVID record success – and we see it as a clear strength as we prepare for the new normal of travel.
“We are large enough to get travelers where they need to go, but small enough to make it easy – as well as safe and clean. With less physical space to maintain and a clear focus on the guest experience, we are able to better control our cleaning procedures, train our team in best practices and offer a safe travel experience.”
Safety and sanitation enhancements now in place include:
- Reliance on continuous cleaning protocols to disinfect and sanitize high-traffic areas for our employees, tenants and guests, including bathrooms, airline kiosks, TSA bins, etc.
- Placement of hand sanitizer stations throughout the terminal, pre- and post-TSA screening
- Installation of custom plexiglass at all interaction points, including ticket counters, rental car facility, etc.
- Use of visual clues to reinforce physical distancing throughout the airport through floor clings, stanchion toppers, wall decals and computer monitors • Placement of signage throughout the terminal – overhead, wall-mounted, door-placed – reminding guests about ways to limit the spread of COVID-19
- Offering PPE to guests in concession areas and through vending machines
- Installation of energy-efficient HVAC systems that improve indoor air quality and temperature comfort
“It may seem like a cost-saving opportunity to fly out of a large hub, but additional travel costs associated with driving to Detroit or Chicago and then parking can often outweigh the actual savings,” explained Dan Koorndyk, chair of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority, which directs the operations of the Airport. “When you Fly Ford, you eliminate the hassle even as you directly support the West Michigan economy as our operational and ground teams are made up of nearly 2,000 local people.
“When the time comes for passengers to fly again, the Ford Airport team is here to connect you safely to wherever you need to go.”
As a regional hub, the Ford Airport has created a world-class facility that offers more than 22 nonstop flights across the country. Over the past seven years, Ford Airport has invested nearly $60 million to elevate the passenger experience – offering a simplified TSA screening process, improved dining options, enhanced ticketing counters, expanded baggage claim space and new, modern finishes.
At its peak in 2019, the Ford Airport generated more than $3.1 billion in annual economic impact, serving more than 3.58 million passengers. Richardson, Koorndyk and the entire team at Ford Airport are focused on returning safely to those numbers.
“We believe in the power of travel and its ability to bring people from all over the globe together – and we’re not wavering in that belief,” Richardson said. “As West Michigan’s gateway to the world, we are here to bid our passengers farewell as they travel beyond our community for business or pleasure – and we’ll look forward to welcoming them when they return home.
“You can avoid the crowds, hassle, stress and uncertainty of travel when you Fly Safe. Fly Ford.”
Read more about Fly Safe. Fly Ford here.
About the Ford Airport
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is the second busiest airport in Michigan, serving business and leisure travelers with nonstop and connecting flights on six airlines. The Ford Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. For more information, visit www.grr.org or follow the airport on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @FlyGRFord.