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October 16th 2023 | Written By Press Release | Share

Ford International Airport Voted the Best Small Airport in the Country by USA TODAY

Ford International Airport Voted the Best Small Airport in the Country by USA TODAY

Grand Rapids, Mich., October 16, 2023 – The Gerald R. Ford International Airport earned the top spot in the USA TODAY Reader’s Choice Awards for best small airport.

The 20 finalists for the category were selected by a panel of experts and then voted on by the public. The panel consisted of editors from USA TODAY and, expert contributors and industry sources. The USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards series highlight top-notch attractions and businesses, providing readers with trusted recommendations.

“We already knew our guests are the best in the country so it’s a real honor to know the feeling is mutual,” Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority President & CEO Tory Richardson said. “One of the unique characteristics of our airport is the incredible support we receive from our community, which we don’t take for granted. This award underscores how important our commitment to the guest experience is.”

The top ten winners in the best small airport category were:

  1. Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR)
  2. Huntsville International Airport (HSV)
  3. Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT)
  4. Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR)
  5. Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP)
  6. Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT)
  7. Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport (PVD)
  8. Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport (BTV)
  9. Pensacola International Airport (PNS)
  10. Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC)

Voting was open from Sept. 4 until Oct. 2 with the public being invited to cast one vote per person, per day. USA TODAY noted while the finalists serve smaller numbers of passengers each year than large hub airports, they excel with commercial flight offerings, easy access and amenities.

In 2022, 3.4+ million guests chose the Ford International Airport for their travel needs, higher than the small airport industry average of 992,000. The Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority, which has more than 100 team members who are responsible for the infrastructure and maintenance of airport facilities. Additionally, more than 1,300 team members from six airlines, food and beverage providers, maintenance facilities and several other partners come together to offer air service and amenities to guests. 

“We thank everyone who took the time to share their vote for the Ford International Airport,” Richardson continued. “We also thank our entire team and partners who are critical in creating an engaging and comfortable guest experience.

“As we celebrate six decades of serving the West Michigan community, we look forward to continuing to provide world class travel in an accessible and convenient way for another 60 years – and beyond.” 


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: Press Release, Airport Authority, Achievements