Economic Development and Travel & Tourism

Ford airport books best-ever year

January 22, 2018
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Furniture maker designs Ford airport visitor area
The visitor information area at Ford airport is designed by Steelcase and near the baggage claim. Photo via

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport has broken its annual passenger record for the fifth straight year.

In 2017, 2,811,622 passengers flew in and out of Ford airport, an increase of 5.95 percent from 2016.

December 2017 saw 233,702 passengers, up from 216,017 last year in 2016, and marking the best December ever.

“This is an incredible milestone to accomplish, and we could not have done this without our tremendous staff, our loyal passengers and all of our airline partners and airport tenants,” said Jim Gill, president and CEO, Ford airport.

“We take pride in being a catalyst to the growing West Michigan community, and the investment our airline partners have made at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport has helped fuel this success. The airlines would not be investing here if they did not see an opportunity, and we continue to be successful because they are successful.”

March 2017 was the single busiest month in airport history, with 256,880 total passengers, breaking an all-time monthly record from July 2016.

The airport had growth in 11 of 12 months in 2017 and has had 53 months of growth over a 60-month period. The increases in that five-year period range from months of 1.22-percent growth to 14.95-percent growth.

The airport has served more than 12.5-million passengers from 2013 to 2017.

The airport has processed almost 2.5 billion pounds of cargo since 1967. Cargo totals for 2017 hit 88.2 million pounds, a 2.56-percent increase since 2016. 

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