Ford airport books record year
Gerald R. Ford International Airport is reporting a record number of passengers flew through the airport last year.
In 2016, 2,653,630 passengers flew in and out of Ford airport, an increase of 4.06 percent from 2015.
This is the fourth record-breaking year in a row for the airport.
December growth helped cap the record-setting year, with an increase of 6.53 percent year over year.
December 2015 saw 202,769 passengers, and 2016 surpassed that with 216,017 total enplaned and deplaned passengers.
Passenger growth was recorded in nine of the 12 months in 2016.
July 2016 was the single-busiest month in airport history, with 238,237 passengers traveling through the airport, breaking the all-time monthly record from July 2015.
The growth over the last few years started in 2013 with a passenger record of 2,237,979.
In 2014, that number increased to 2,335,105, and in 2015, Ford airport broke its own record once again, with a passenger record of 2,550,193 — a 9.21 percent year-over-year increase.
Over the past four years, the airport has recorded its strongest growth in its 53-year history, serving more than 9.7-million passengers over the four-year period.
Jim Gill, Ford airport president and CEO, said the record numbers are a “testament” to the growing West Michigan community and the investments the airport’s airline partners have made.
“This growth further justifies the need for our Gateway Transformation Project to accommodate the increasing passenger demand and the need our airlines have in gate space, amenities and customer service offerings,” Gill said.
The Gateway Transformation Project began in December 2015 and is slated to continue through summer 2017.
The project’s main feature is the consolidated passenger security checkpoint, which will centralize and combine security screening to one main checkpoint in the airport, eliminating separate screening for passengers traveling through concourses A and B.
Construction also includes new terrazzo flooring, lighting fixtures, restroom and nursing rooms, family restrooms, pre- and post-security business centers, new retail, food and beverage space and more.
“As we continue to grow in traffic, it is imperative that our facilities keep up with our passenger demand,” Gill said.