Airport begins expansion

630
Courtesy Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Gerald R. Ford International Airport is embarking on a $110 million expansion.

The airport on Wednesday, April 27, raised a ceremonial beam to begin the expansion project of Concourse A. 

The expansion will add 157,000 square feet to the airport to accommodate rapid passenger growth. The project will more than double the capacity of Concourse A. Eight new gates also will be added, raising the gate total to 15.

The project also will bring new retail and restaurant options to the concourse, as well as a greater variety of seating options from West Michigan manufacturers. A lounge for business travelers will be added overlooking the concourse. 

Grand Rapids-based The Christman Company will serve as general contractor for the project. Middleton, Wisconsin-based Mead & Hunt will be the design project manager, with Dallas, Texas-based HKS as the architect. Over 30 West Michigan subcontractors will bring their expertise to the new construction, as well. 

“Prior to the pandemic, Ford International Airport enjoyed double-digit passenger growth for nearly two years, necessitating we undertake this monumental transformation of what will become our signature concourse,” said Dan Koorndyk, chair, Gerald R. Ford Airport Authority board. “As the pandemic continues to subside, our travel numbers continue to increase, putting our recovery ahead of our initial projections. Now is the time to begin the work that will position us to resume our anticipated growth trajectory for the next 20 years and ensure we can deliver a world-class experience as West Michigan’s gateway to the world.”

The construction of Concourse A is expected to take 24 months. The first phase is scheduled to open in spring 2023 and will be completed by the end of that year. The concourse will remain open during construction.

Ford Airport’s expansion is part of Project Elevate, a three-development project announced in August 2019. Elevate has designated nearly $500 million in infrastructure investments to improve guest experience and help position the airport for continued growth. The project is funded by federal and state grants, as well as municipal bonds issued by the airport and user fees. The project does not use local taxpayer dollars. 

“We are gratified to find support at all levels — local, state and national — for our plans to enhance the infrastructure at Ford International Airport so we can better meet the needs of our business and leisure guests today and tomorrow,” said Tory Richardson, president and CEO, Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. 

“We pride ourselves on our ability to connect West Michigan to the world — and vice versa. The investment being made today to expand Concourse A marks another evolutionary step in our history.”

Facebook Comments