Government and Travel & Tourism

Ford airport books second-best year

January 30, 2014
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Ford airport flies nonstop to D.C. via United Airlines
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,820 flights a day to 373 airports on six continents. Photo via

More than 2 million people flew through the Gerald R. Ford International Airport last year, making it the airport’s second-best year ever.

The airport said today that total passenger numbers were up 4.83 percent in 2013, reaching 2,237,979.

That total falls just short of the record of 2,275,332 passengers, which was set in 2011.

Airline effect

The addition of Southwest Airlines in August 2013, as well as the new United Airlines route to Washington-Dulles were partly behind the increased traffic, GFIA Executive Director Brian Ryks said.

“Bringing in more competition gives passengers more options,” Ryks said. “We’re pleased to see Southwest doing well in our market, specifically in the Denver and St. Louis markets, with connections to the West Coast.

“In addition to Southwest, we have seen great progress in United’s new route to Washington-Dulles.”

Growing market

Ryks added that the passenger increase “says a lot about the thriving West Michigan market.”

“Our community continues to grow, and with that growth, aviation trends upward,” Ryks said. “We can’t thank West Michigan enough for supporting its local airport and our local economy."

2013 volume

GFIA had 1,124,969 enplanements in 2013, up from 1,069,795 in 2012.

Deplaned passengers totaled 1,113,010 in 2013, up from 1,065,161 in 2012.

December 2013 also saw passenger volume increase to 184,906, up 14.57 percent versus 162,816 in December 2012.

Ryks is hopeful that 2014 will set all-time records for the airport.

In total, more than 63 million people have flown in and out of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in its 50-year history. 

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