- people on the move
Airport sets annual passenger record
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport has broken its annual passenger record for the seventh consecutive year.
In 2019, 3,587,767 passengers flew in and out of the Ford Airport, an increase of 9.88% from 2018.
For perspective, the 2013 passenger record was 2,237,979.
The 2018 record was surpassed in November 2019, the busiest November in the airport’s history, with 283,895 passengers served, according to airport officials.
December 2019 also was the busiest December in the airport’s history, capping the record-setting year. The airport served 311,111 passengers that month, an increase of 12.85% from the previous year’s December.
The airport now has seen passenger growth for the past 27 consecutive months.
“We have grown tremendously over the last seven years because we continue to add nonstop routes, state-of-the-art amenities and technology, and our guest-first focus,” said Tory Richardson, Ford Airport president and CEO.
“We appreciate our loyal West Michigan passengers and visitors for choosing the Ford Airport in their travels. You are not only supporting local jobs and our local economy, but the more you fly with us, the more we will grow.”
The airport celebrated the milestone by surprising two passengers Jan. 21. Karen Burleson of Caledonia, a Southwest Airlines passenger, and Keith O’Brien of Comstock Park, a Delta Air Lines passenger, were chosen as the “GRRand Passengers” as they deplaned their flights.
They each were met with a balloon bouquet, cupcakes, cheering employees and guests, along with an array of prizes. Each received two $350 travel vouchers, good for travel from the Ford Airport any time in 2020. They also received three free days of parking, a Hudson News & Gifts travel package valued at more than $350, gift cards and products from Starbucks and HMS Host, and more.
“I did not expect this today,” Burleson said. “I love this airport and my daughter just moved to Texas, so I’m looking forward to going to see her with my voucher.”