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My Town: Ford Airport welcomes Hollywood stars

My Town: Ford Airport welcomes Hollywood stars

KENTWOOD, Mich.— Travelers at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport got a taste of Hollywood last week, as crews shot scenes for a film starring Jesse Eisenberg.

A crew of more than 100 people worked more than 14 hours shooting scenes throughout the airport for “The End of the Tour”.  Grand Rapids’ airport will represent the Minneapolis- St. Paul and Chicago O’Hare airports in the movie.

“Not only are we happy to host the cast and crew for filming, but we are happy they are flying in and out of our airport and bringing in money to support the local economy,” said GFIA Executive Director Brian Ryks.  “They are flying in and out of Grand Rapids, grabbing a cup of Starbucks at our airport, staying in our hotels and eating in our restaurants.  It’s wonderful for the entire West Michigan community.”

The need for smart transit-oriented development accelerates

The need for smart transit-oriented development accelerates

by Deborah Johnson Wood
This story originally appeared in Rapid Growth

My Town: Ford Airport to unveil newly redesigned visitor area

My Town: Ford Airport to unveil newly redesigned visitor area

KENTWOOD, Mich.—  Gerald R. Ford International Airport will soon open a new hub for visitors.

The airport will unveil its newly redesigned visitor information area this Friday, March 14.  Ford Airport teamed up with global furniture manufacturer Steelcase and Experience Grand Rapids to create the new center, which features new furniture and technology.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 10:45 a.m. Friday. 

My Town Kentwood: TSA expands prescreening option at Ford Airport

My Town Kentwood: TSA expands prescreening option at Ford Airport

KENTWOOD, Mich.—The Transportation Security Administration is expanding its Pre✓™ option at Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

Passengers flying on Delta Airlines via Checkpoint A and on Southwest, United and American Airlines via Checkpoint B can now utilize the TSA Pre✓™ program.  It allows pre-approved travelers to leave on their shoes, light outwear and belt and keep their laptop and complaint liquids/gels in their carry-on in select screening lanes.

To become a pre-approved traveler, passengers must go through a pre-enrollment process online at www.TSA.gov and visit an application center to provide personal information, payment and identification papers.  To find an enrollment center, visit the Department of Homeland Security page here.

Ford Airport ranks among best in the world

Ford Airport ranks among best in the world

KENTWOOD, Mich.—West Michigan is home to one of the top five best airports in the world.

The Airports Council International ranked the Gerald R. Ford International Airport fifth among airports that serve 2 million to 5 million passengers a year.  The rankings are based on passenger reviews of security, amenities and customer service.

“Customer service is a top priority for our entire team at the Gerald R.

Former Congressional candidate joins Airport Board

Former Congressional candidate joins Airport Board

KENTWOOD, Mich.—There’s a new face on the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners announced the appointment of Steve Heacock Monday.  The seven-member Airport Board is responsible for the general oversight of Gerald R. Ford Ford International Airport.  Heacock replaces former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, who left the board last December.  His term will run through Dec. 31, 2016.

Heacock has served as chairman of the Convention and Arena Authority, which owns and operates Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place.  He  served on the Kent County Board of Commissioners fir sux years, including two years as the chairman.  Heacock, who is a Grand Rapids resident, is the senior vice president of public affairs for Spectrum Health Systems.  He was also the chief administrative officer, general counsel and board secretary of the Van Andel Institute for six years.

Ford International Airport celebrates passenger uptick in 2013

Ford International Airport celebrates passenger uptick in 2013

KENTWOOD, Mich.—The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is celebrating its second best year in its 50-year history.

An airport spokeswoman says 2,237,979 people used the Ford International Airport in 2013, up 4.83 percent from the previous year.  Last year’s passenger total falls just short of the airport’s record 2,275,332 passengers, set in 2011.

Airport Executive Director Brian Ryks attributes the increase to the thriving West Michigan market, as well as a new route on United Airlines and the addition of Southwest Airlines. Southwest started flying in Grand Rapids last August.