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Grand Rapids Airport (GRR) News and Developments


joeDowntown

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A little OT, but speaking of huge parking ramps, has anyone noticed how big the ramp at one of the casinos over in Detroit is? I don't know which one it was, but it was unreal.

I hadn't been downtown Detroit in a couple years, and I must say the downtown is really showing some signs of life these days. The area between downtown and Wayne State is really coming together.

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When you factor in convenience and cost, those prices aren't too bad. I've paid ORD parking prices and the $150 - $200 in savings don't go very far, not to mention it's going to cost around $90 dollar fill up to get there and back. And after a long trip, driving your car 3 hours home isn't fun. If my travel plans are a little more flexible, I'll visit a sister in Chicago and then take the Blue Line EL to the airport. It can be quicker and much cheaper than leaving a car at the airport.

IMHO the killer for G.R. Ford is Lansing. A 60 mile drive to Lansing can save you $150 a ticket. That right there shows what a low cost carrier can do. I don't see much difference from taking a connector flight for GR to Detroit/Chicago than from Lansing to Detroit/Chicago, but doing so out of Grand Rapids adds about $150 to $200 a ticket, where out of Lansing it adds about $50.

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Are the cars driving on a temporary access rd? If so does that mean they are going to build another half of the garage once that half is finished?

Also, with a world class parking garage please tell me that they have plans to build a world class terminal, because right now it seems as if the airport authority wants O'hares ( exxageration) parking garage with Butte Montana's terminal.

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Wowzers! Dual tower cranes?! I wonder if we'll see more?

Probably not. The first tower crane was positioned to handle the south end of the ramp; the new one seems to have plenty of reach for the north end. And yes, they are working on the back half of the parking ramp right now. The current access road and curbfront are approximately where the old entrance to long and short term parking was and follows what used to be the far end of the short term/rental car lots. The wave trusses reach approximately from the front of the terminal to the back of the temporary curbfront shelter; I presume that when the back half of the ramp is finished and the wave canopy is complete, traffic will move back to the front of the terminal and they'll build the rest of the ramp over the current road.

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Are the cars driving on a temporary access rd? If so does that mean they are going to build another half of the garage once that half is finished?

Also, with a world class parking garage please tell me that they have plans to build a world class terminal, because right now it seems as if the airport authority wants O'hares ( exxageration) parking garage with Butte Montana's terminal.

Agreed.

What I'd like to see is 2 floors. The ground floor being baggage and passenger check in, and the 2nd floor being concessions (street pricing like most airports are now going to), retail, and passenger terminals. I'm curious. When was the current airport terminal constructed? Was the goal to be the worlds largest tri-level home? Why are there three areas at different elevations? An inclined walk from the check in to lobby area, and then another inclined walk to the passenger terminal areas?

Remember the days of the 2nd floor observation deck, or the original viewing area now runway 17/35? I miss those days, and especially the viewing area as I thought it provided better views for watch landing airplanes. I think this is proabably the reason why I haven't been out there much, despite working near Patterson and 52nd St.

Edited by plee30
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The current airport opened on November 23, 1963 (I believe the opening ceremonies were delayed due to JFK's assasination), and was dedicated in June of 1964:

410146505_f610b5c982.jpg

Keep in mind that the terminal was renovated relatively recently - mid to late 90's perhaps?

I'm amused by all the calls for a new terminal building, considering the recent renovation and the fact that the airport, generally, doesn't seem all that bad to me, at least not compared to a dump like, say, Bangor, Maine. It still operates pretty efficiently for a terminal of its size, it's relatively airy and open, especially in the central grand hall area, and for goodness sakes people - the airline industry is going through hell right now. Airlines are reducing capacity to cities like GR, there will probably be bankruptcies on the horizon, who knows how this is all going to shake out; it hardly seems like the time to push for the replacement of a recently renovated and still very serviceable terminal.

Aside from which, where's the money going to come from to replace it?

Just my 2 cents.

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Wowzers! Dual tower cranes?! I wonder if we'll see more?

There are so many cranes over there right now that if it weren't for all the activity in downtown GR, all the UP crane aficionados would be spending all their free time at the airport. Thanks for the shots Sparky. Every day (except weekends) I say to myself that I should remember my camera and take some photos for UP. Now I don't have to and I can go back to endangering other traffic as I look at the construction instead of where I'm driving. :shok:

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I'm amused by all the calls for a new terminal building, considering the recent renovation and the fact that the airport, generally, doesn't seem all that bad to me, at least not compared to a dump like, say, Bangor, Maine. It still operates pretty efficiently for a terminal of its size, it's relatively airy and open, especially in the central grand hall area, and for goodness sakes people - the airline industry is going through hell right now. Airlines are reducing capacity to cities like GR, there will probably be bankruptcies on the horizon, who knows how this is all going to shake out; it hardly seems like the time to push for the replacement of a recently renovated and still very serviceable terminal.

Aside from which, where's the money going to come from to replace it?

Just my 2 cents.

I have to agree with you. The GR airport is fine for the traffic we get. Flights are going to decrease (they are already) nationwide. A bigger airport makes no sense.

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I have to agree with you. The GR airport is fine for the traffic we get. Flights are going to decrease (they are already) nationwide. A bigger airport makes no sense.

Not bigger necessarily, just nicer. As plee said, right now it seems to have been pieced together using modular construction. Maybe not now, but definitely on the 5 - 10 year plan.

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My flight to GRR from O'Hare on Tuesday evening was a 6-seat wide small jet (really pretty one). Perhaps 75% capacity. It's likely that folks will be flying less, traveling less, and causing less demand for schmancy new airport facilities. (Much as I love that tunnel at DTW.)

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Does anyone have any schematics for this thing? I'm curious as to what this is:

2615160528_17595076ba.jpg

2615163584_431d8a3323.jpg

You can click on the photos and check the map at flickr to get a sense of where exactly this thing is. They've built a retaining wall along the access roads for the general aviation hangars and old cargo ramp, and it has this curious little structure. Bus stop? Entrance to secret underworld?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey hey, did anyone notice this news?

___________________________________________________________

ACStackedWeb.gifAir Canada nonstop service to Toronto coming to Gerald R. Ford International Airport beginning Monday, July 14, 2008! Press Release

___________________________________________________________

Good news for Grand Rapids. GR Ford is back to truly being an international airport. Booya!

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Hey hey, did anyone notice this news?

___________________________________________________________

ACStackedWeb.gifAir Canada nonstop service to Toronto coming to Gerald R. Ford International Airport beginning Monday, July 14, 2008! Press Release

___________________________________________________________

Good news for Grand Rapids. GR Ford is back to truly being an international airport. Booya!

I thought a small carrier did flights to Windsor, ON?

Although this is awesome news, and I await the day non stops to Montreal come!

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Hey hey, did anyone notice this news?

___________________________________________________________

ACStackedWeb.gifAir Canada nonstop service to Toronto coming to Gerald R. Ford International Airport beginning Monday, July 14, 2008! Press Release

___________________________________________________________

Good news for Grand Rapids. GR Ford is back to truly being an international airport. Booya!

Actually, GRR became an international airport before it had regularly scheduled international flights. That was due to the establishment of a customs office in the 1970s. I recall that international charters used GRR before Air Canada showed up.

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Dude! That's looking huge! I can't believe they have 3 floors of the parking ramp up already.

You'll also note, if you look at the portion of the ramp under the canopy (in the picture, not in reality) that they're starting to pour the eastern end of the ramp as well. The portion that is 3 stories now is probably a little less than half of the north side of the ramp...

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Some not so good news today <_<

Cut in Service and Spending Hitting Ford Airport

This morning, the airport board put the brakes on $60 million dollars worth of building projects due to the aviation slump. The work includes expansion of a concourse to open more gates and moving the baggage screening machines away from the public area.
Edited by blueradon
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  • 3 weeks later...

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