March passenger numbers were up 16.2 percent year-over-year; resulting in the busiest March ever, the busiest first quarter ever, and breaking an all-time monthly record from March 2017.
“We continue to sound like a broken record, but what an amazing feat for our airport and our community to not only have a record month, but the best in Ford Airport history,” said Gerald R. Ford International Airport President & CEO Jim Gill. “We saw first-hand the traffic in our parking garage and passengers going through our security checkpoints leaving for Spring Break, but we are pleasantly surprised to see a record-breaking month like this.”
March 2017 was previously the busiest month in GFIA history with 256,880 total passengers. In March 2018, 298,487 total passengers traveled through GFIA – breaking the previous record by 41,607 passengers.
Each month of 2018 has resulted in record-breaking passenger numbers, also equating to GFIA recording its busiest first quarter in history. Through March 2018, GFIA has served 790,106 passengers- more than the first three years that the airport was in operation combined (1964- 1966).
“Our airline partners continue to invest here adding more service, more routes, and larger aircraft to accommodate our growing passenger traffic,” said Gill. “We hope our continued growth prompts even more service to give our West Michigan community more options and competitive pricing when they fly from the Ford Airport.” The Ford Airport is coming off a 2017 that saw over 2.8 million passengers, the fifth straight year of record growth. GFIA has seen growth in 56 of the last 63 months.
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.”
GFIA monthly passenger statistics are available on our website: http://www.grr.org/history.php
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is the second busiest airport in Michigan. The Airport served over 3.58 million passengers in 2019 and over 9,000 travelers pass through GFIA each day. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport offers nonstop service to 34 major market destinations with more than 140 daily nonstop flights. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority 5500 44th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49512-4055 ph 616.233.6000 fx 616.233.6025 flyford.org 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. For more information on GFIA visit: www.flyford.org or follow the airport on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @FlyGRFord