Growth at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Alex Peric, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, presented on the airport real estate and economic development.
After a year of record growth in 2018, GRR is predicting continued growth into 2019 and beyond. To accommodate future growth, they plan to have $400M+ infrastructure investment by 2030. The plan, titled “Project Elevate,” includes the following projects:
New Air Traffic Control Tower
The airport’s current traffic control tower is the second-oldest tower of the top 100 airports in the country, and although it is in good shape, the placement of the tower is preventing expansion. As Peric said, the current tower is too short. A new air traffic controller tower would allow the airport to move forward on additional projects without jeopardizing sight-lines.
Federal Inspection Station
Another project on the horizon is the construction of a federal inspection station, which would allow the airport to pre-clear international flights. The project will be breaking ground in 2022-2023. The biggest challenge, Peric said, will be staffing customs and border control officers.
Concourse A Expansion
The airport plans to expand Concourse A, adding eight gates and widening the terminal to include an additional 15,000 square feet. This expansion accommodates more concession and retail space, as well as a VIP lounge.
In 2018, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport served 3.26 million passengers. As the second-fastest growing airport in the U.S., and with continued expansion, the airport will continue to create jobs and spur economic growth in our region.
To follow along with project updates, visit the airport’s website, here: http://www.grr.org/construction.php