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August 20th 2018 | Written By Press Release | Share

Ford Airport on Pace as America’s Second Fastest Growing Airport

Ford Airport on Pace as America’s Second Fastest Growing Airport

Grand Rapids, Mich. — After serving more than a quarter-million passengers in the month of July, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is continuing its pace as the second fastest growing airport in the country.July marks the seventh record-breaking month in a row for 2018, and the airport has seen growth in 60 of the last 67 months. July 2018 was the busiest July ever, with passenger numbers up 16.7- percent year-over-year.

Through July 2018, GFIA has already surpassed its annual totals reached in both 2008 and 2009, and the airport has now served over 75-million passengers in its 54-year history.

“Our growth is a collaborative effort between our community, our airline partners, our tenants, and continued economic progression,” said Gerald R. Ford International Airport President & CEO Jim Gill. “With recent announcements like American Airlines adding nonstop service to Miami, and Frontier Airlines adding nonstop service to Phoenix Sky-Harbor, we are continuing to set records and meet the demands and needs of our traveling public. We are not done, and we expect 2018 to not only be another record-setting year but to continue that momentum into 2019.”

Airline Weekly forecasted the Ford Airport as the second fastest-growing airport in the U.S. among the 100 busiest airports for the Q3 summer peak, according to data from Diio, an aviation data, tools, and technology product. The ranking was based upon a projected 21-percent increase in year-over-year growth.

July 2017 saw 249,268 passengers, while July 2018 topped that in serving 291,034 – the second largest increase ever for the month of July.

“Our airline partners continue to invest here and are adding more service with more routes, and larger aircraft to accommodate our growing passenger traffic,” said Gill. “We expect the record numbers and trends to continue as we wrap up summer and continue into fall.”

GFIA has invested in new facilities to accommodate the growing traffic by recently completing Phase One of the Gateway Transformation Project – an upgrade in space, retail, food and beverage, restrooms, finishes, amenities, and customer service offerings. The project’s main feature is the consolidated passenger security checkpoint which centralized and combined security screening to one main checkpoint in the Airport. Construction also included new terrazzo flooring, lighting fixtures, pre and post security business centers, a military welcome center, kids play areas, and much more.

Phase Two of the Gateway Transformation Project is slated to begin in Fall 2018 with construction taking place at the airline ticket counters, baggage claim area, and ‘front of house’ area.

“As we continue to grow in traffic it is imperative that our facilities keep up with our passenger demand,” said Gill. “Our passengers keep coming back because we listen to their wants and needs, and as they do we will continue to do our part to improve our amenities, technology, customer service and infrastructure. We are excited to see what the future holds, and we hope to add more growth in the years to come.”


The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is the second busiest airport in Michigan. The Airport served over 3.26 million passengers in 2018 and over 8,000 travelers pass through GFIA each day. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport offers nonstop service to 32 major market destinations with more than 140 daily nonstop flights. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. GFIA generates over $3.1 billion in annual economic output throughout West Michigan, and employs over 2,000 people.

Topics: Press Release, Achievements