Shop the GRR Airport Storefront HERE >

October 24th 2022 | Written By Press Release | Share

Ford International Airport Celebrates Grand Opening of New Operations Center

Ford International Airport Celebrates Grand Opening of New Operations Center

Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 24, 2022 The Gerald R. Ford International Airport celebrated the
completion and opening of its new operations center which will consolidate key teams such as
operations and communications; including a new emergency operations center (EOC).

The EOC is activated during an emergency at the Ford International Airport, supporting tenants and
mutual aid agencies in Kent County.

The facility is accessible air-side and public-side, making it ideal to provide daily operations support
and reachable during an emergency. In a second phase, the Ford International Airport plans to expand
the center to include its fire department at the site.

“The Ford International Airport’s new operations center offers state-of-the-art technology to support
the Airport, tenants and mutual aid agencies in Kent County,” said Lisa Carr, public safety & operations
director for the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. “Our team is thrilled with the features
and security that this space will provide for our operations.”

The user-friendly building is staffed 24/7 and is built to withstand extreme weather conditions,
including winds up to 250 miles-per-hour. It is equipped with purposeful redundancies in
technologies and communication channels to ensure services continue during an emergency. A
heated parking bay ensures that vehicles stay out of the elements and snow-free.

To accommodate increasing passenger demand, this building provides the Ford International Airport
Authority team with a larger space to best perform the necessary functions of airport operations. A
video wall displays important resources, such as current NOTAMs, flight tracking, flight arrival and
departure times, and security cameras.

Special attention has been given to creating a space that is both functional and pleasant to work in.
The facility includes a data center, video walls and special document review spaces, as well as an
inviting office, conference and break spaces. The operations center is well-equipped for conducting
training, working independently during times of shift overlap, and reviewing design plans and
construction documents.

With two fully functional consoles, communications specialists can easily dispatch police, fire,
maintenance and janitorial teams and utilize color-coded display lights to indicate to other team
members when someone has an emergency call in progress.

“Having an Emergency Operations Center at the Airport will improve the quality and timeliness of the
response to an emergency and reduce recovery time,” Kent County Emergency Management
Coordinator Matt Groesser said. “This Emergency Operations Center plays a critical role by also
providing a secure space for other community emergency management functions such as a Joint
Information Center (JIC) or a Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) group to plan and lead other
components of emergency operations.”

DLZ of Michigan served as the project architect, with Pioneer Construction of Grand Rapids as the
general contractor. They were supported by Buist Electric, Burggrabe Masonry Inc., Cripps Fontaine
Excavating Inc., CS Erickson, Evans, Forman Glass, Gale Plumbing & Hydronics Inc., Grand Valley
Automation Inc., Harder & Warner, Kosters & De Vries Inc., Level 5 Commercial Finishing, Metal Tech
Building Specialists, Parkway, Peter Basso Associates, Praise Companies Inc., Prein & Newhof,
SecurAlarm, VanLaan Concrete Construction, Van Dyken Mechanical, Van Dellen Steel, Versatile
Roofing Systems, Tele-Rad Inc., Total Fire Protection and Westmaas Electric. The building was
furnished by Haworth through Interphase.

“Thank you to the many partners who had a hand in this process,” said Tory Richardson, Ford
International Airport Authority president and CEO. “Seeing the finished building is an exciting next
step in the future advancements at the Ford International Airport so that we can best serve West
Michigan and beyond."

About the Gerald R. Ford International 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 International Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. For more information, visit or follow the airport on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram @FlyGRFord.

Topics: Press Release, Achievements