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Ford International Airport

MONDAY MENTION
Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Grand Rapids, Michigan


For the first time in weeks, I had a chance to get out of the snow clobbered streets of my new home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The month of February wasn't easy, less alone an enjoyable one, for the eastern half of the U.S. with the uncooperative and unforgiving weather, but the weather is starting to pay off and make up for the most difficult travel experience for many, and my relocation experience from NYC to West Michigan.


So..

What would a pilot do on a beautiful day with the highs in the 40s (F), clear blue skies, with melting snow, such as today?  

Head to the airport!  

I took this time today to head over to the gateway to the Midwest, if not, the world, like I do on many occaisions when I fly to the offices of Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR / KGRR) to say a quick, "hello!"

Named after the 38th President of the United States who was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan area, Ford International Airport has serviced over 2.3 million passengers traveling to, through, and from West Michigan worldwide.




One of the things I love about this airport, besides the field being quite close to my new home, is the fact they offer services to which many airports do not.  Gerald R. Ford International Airport is not just any air field.  Beyond the air field, is a state of the art, refurbished, modern terminal area (Concourse B) including a game room for youth, shops, and what we all need especially for those early morning flights, that Pike Place taste of Seattle - a Starbucks. A nice array of food shops are also available for pilots and passengers/guests alike.

If you are an animal lover like I am, then GRR is also the place for you.  Ford Airport provides pet therapy services to passersby and I had the honor of meeting one of the dogs during my visit today.  This is something for those travelers who have come from afar needing a smile on their faces from a caring K-9. 

Another specialty is that when the holidays come around, Ford Airport invites special groups come in from local middle and high schools to do live performances, giving that warm holiday welcome and wish for a pleasant journey - or for that matter - that welcome home for the holidays.  That means a lot, especially for pilots, crew, and passengers alike who are away from and unable to be with their families over the holidays.

One of the amenities they have to offer for a pilot, if not, the aviation spotter is the observation deck.  Not only an observation deck, also an outdoor park adjacent to runway 08R/26L, which is currently undergoing expansion to be opened this summer.  This is a definite place to take visiting friends from out of town, or perhaps, the whole family out, for some plane spotting while enjoying some fun in the sun.

In this day and age, air travelers and passenger loads are doubling and tripling by leaps and bounds.  Ford Airport has made, is making, and continues to make all the means to not only be most accomodating to all of their passengers, but also add that hometown feel to the experience.  It is my pleasure and honor knowing that not only when I fly, but to have them right next door.  If you are coming to Michigan, (especially on your way to Oshkosh/OSH15 this summer), please stop by and enjoy the Ford Airport experience!



One can fly many carriers non-stop from Ford Airport to:

DELTA AIRLINES/Endeavor Air/GoJet
  • Detroit, MI (DTW/KDTW)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP/MSP)
  • Atlanta, GA (ATL/KATL)
  • Cincinatti, N. Kentucky (CVG/KCVG)
  • NYC (LGA/KLGA)
UNITED AIRLINES/Shuttle America
  • Chicago, IL (ORD/KORD)
  • Denver, CO (DEN/KDEN)
  • NYC/Newark (EWR/KEWR)
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
  • Denver, CO (DEN/KDEN)
  • Baltimore, MD (BWI/KBWI)
  • St. Louis, MO (STL/KSTL)
  • Orlando, FL (MCO/KMCO)
  • Tampa, FL (TPA/KTPA)
AMERICAN AIRLINES/Envoy
  • Chicago, IL (ORD/KORD)
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX (DFW/KDFW)
AIR WISCONSIN
  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL/KPHL)
ALLEGIANT AIR
  • Las Vegas, NV (LAS/KLAS)
Other airports/General Aviation:
  • W K Kellog - Battle Creek, MI (BTL/KBTL)
  • Coleman A. Young - Detroit, MI (DET/KDET)
  • Republic Airport - Farmingdale, NY (FRG/KFRG)


The list above is a current snapshot per date of this post, as routes, airlines, and citypairs are based on various fluxuating markets. 

Of course, my personal dream is to have a seasonal non-stop service from Grand Rapids to Amsterdam, The Netherlands.. perhaps, with a 787?  It wasn't coined "Dreamliner" for nothing.  A great way to celebrate the Dutch heritage of West Michigan.

For further information about Ford Airport, please visit their website or follow their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Thank you, Ford Airport, for your 50 years of service.  You have been a tremendous asset not only for West Michigan but the world you serve.  Not only the physical world, but the worlds of dreams you are building for the future of aviation through the aspirations of growth within our youth.

For those who I met in the airport offices today, (puppy dog included), it was a pleasure and an honor.  We shall be seeing each other again, soon!

Comments

  1. Jeremy, This is great!! What a great idea. Would that be awesome to have a book on the history of airports. An amazing post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Karlene! They should do a history book on this airport. Will definitely mention it to them. I know there is one published for JFK in the "Images of America" series from Arcadia Publishing found at B & N I saw in the NYC area. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

    ReplyDelete

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With seconds to go, I was making a mad dash down the concourse.  Of course my gate had to be the last one at the end.  The chances of me making the next flight out after to the concrete jungle were growing very slim.  In the distance, I could hear a small boy ask his mom, "Why is that man running?"  Barely hearing anything over the sounds of rushing blood and adrenaline, I heard the mother explain that I was running to catch a plane.
As I ran, I flew into my subconscious and thought about the times where I wish I had ran towards something, risking everything valuable in life because of something I believe in, instead running of away from something due to fear of how bad it would impact my life.   Risks that were worth taking, that I never…