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June 16th 2023 | Written By Press Release | Share

Ford International Airport to Hold Full-Scale Exercise

Ford International Airport to Hold Full-Scale Exercise


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 16, 2023 – Starting Monday, June 19th, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority will undergo two days of training exercises. This will include a Full-Scale Exercise on Tuesday, June 20th, from 7:00am-2:00pm, designed to simulate an emergency event in order to evaluate emergency response plans.

The Full-Scale Exercise is mandated every three years by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Airport Authority expects a large presence of first responders and emergency vehicles from nearby agencies during this time. Additional precautions are established to protect the health and safety of participants. First responders will be extinguishing fires, supporting volunteers simulating injuries, directing responders, and more.

“Simulating an emergency event is integral for our team and mutual aid partners to be equipped with the necessary protocols for an emergency response plan,” said Airport Authority Fire Chief Tony Gutierrez. “It’s important that we continuously fine-tune our emergency response plans to ensure the safety of our passengers and community.”

The exercise will take place on the Airport's General Aviation Runway 8L/26R and involve 200 participants, including volunteers and first responders. 

There are 19 agencies involved in this exercise, including GFIAA Fire Department, GFIAA Police Department, GFIAA Operations, GFIAA Maintenance, GFIAA Administration, GFIAA Communications, Kentwood Fire Department, Cascade Fire Department, Kent County Emergency Management, Dutton Fire Department, Caledonia Fire Department, Life EMS, AMR Ambulance, Rockford Ambulance, Kent County Emergency Medical Services, American Red Cross, Southwest Airlines, Kentwood Police Department, Michigan State Police, Kent County Sheriff's Department, Kent County Emergency Services Team (KEST), Medical Reserve Corp, FAA Traffic Tower Control Tower and Kent County Dispatch.

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.

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Topics: Airport Authority, Events, Safety