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Grand Rapids Airport (GRR) News and Developments

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This is awesome news! Two years ago there wasn't one discount carrier offering direct flights to GRR from Orlando. It was truly annoying having to make connection flights with high cost carriers. In that little amount of time, I now have two options! I hope these companies are profitable in GRR.

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For some reason, for me, the good news is somewhat tarnished with how tacky and orchestrated this whole thing was.

It's still great news, but it just rubs me the wrong way that this had to be two separate dog & pony shows.

That's ego for you, I guess.

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This is another good move. Allegiant was probably the last low cost carrier that I would have liked to see there but with this comes added competition, new destinations and hopefully lower costs. Hopefully allegiant will add nonstop to LAX like Des Moines has and maybe airtran would eventually add SW florida, Boston or even Cancun someday. I think Southwest airlines would have been a nice fit.

Now if they are really serious about being a business focused airport there are several things that I would like to see happen:

-tunnel under the small e-w runway providing direct access to I-96 at 36th street

-on-site full service hotel new to the area like Sheraton, Marriott, ect.

-better layout of front lobby check-in / baggage claims area

-out door garden / smoking / viewing area

-better public transportation such as bringing back the Airporter shuttle to downtown or even possible future infrastructure for a light rail stop or highspeed rail from GR-Detroit

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This is another good move. Allegiant was probably the last low cost carrier that I would have liked to see there but with this comes added competition, new destinations and hopefully lower costs. Hopefully allegiant will add nonstop to LAX like Des Moines has and maybe airtran would eventually add SW florida, Boston or even Cancun someday. I think Southwest airlines would have been a nice fit.

Now if they are really serious about being a business focused airport there are several things that I would like to see happen:

-better public transportation such as bringing back the Airporter shuttle to downtown or even possible future infrastructure for a light rail stop or highspeed rail from GR-Detroit

Scotty:

That is EXACTLY what was included in proposals for the long-range plan for a potential 22-mile East/West elevated lightrail corridor (that basically shadows the combined ITP Routes 50, 6 and 17) from GVSU-Allendale to Ford Airport (with 17 stations in between at Wilson/Standale, Millennium Park Amphitheatre, John Ball Zoo, GVSU-Robert Pew, Central Station, DeVos Place/Calder Plaza, the combined Spectrum-Butterworth/VanAndel Institute/GVSU HSC/GRCC campus (underground), GRCC-Fulton Annex (underground), Aquinas College, Eastown, Spectrum-Blodgett campus, Gaslight Village, Breton Village, Calvin College, WMU-East Beltline, Woodland Mall and Aerotech Business Park). Such a corridor would function as the "spine" of transit in the central metro area and reposition the linehaul busses to function as the "ribs" off of their rail station connection points. It would make it so that as Ford inevitably gets busier, arrivals for downtown business/education/medical/convention affairs can seamlessly do it while over 35,000 combined college students on the route can use it along with the 30,000 folks who work/use/live-in downtown each day.

The excitement of GR continues (not-to-far :offtopic: mobility topic: try to not grimace and say, "I-196 COMPLETELY shut down from Fuller to The Grand from April 'til Fall to widen it to 3 lanes each way AFTER they just spent time and MONEY doing some cosmetic work on the same stretch that could have WAITED!!"). Sigh. The pains and pleasures of being Michigan's "THAT PLACE". I'll take it all, thank you! :yahoo: Happy New Year and How YOU doin'?

Edited by metrogrkid

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The excitement of GR continues (not-to-far :offtopic: mobility topic: try to not grimace and say, "I-196 COMPLETELY shut down from Fuller to The Grand from April 'til Fall to widen it to 3 lanes each way AFTER they just spent time and MONEY doing some cosmetic work on the same stretch that could have WAITED!!"). Sigh. The pains and pleasures of being Michigan's "THAT PLACE". I'll take it all, thank you! :yahoo: Happy New Year and How YOU doin'?

Not true, the "cosmetic" work was joint repair east of Fuller. That segment won't get rebuilt until the interchange at I- 96 / EBL is reconfigured. Anything west of Fuller was "band aid" until this year.

Interesting fact - I-96 from the River east to College was designed in 1961 with a design Average Daily Traffic projected for 1975 at 20,800 vehicles per day. The latest count on the MDOT site is 63,700 vehicles per day. The roadway is handling 3 times it's design volume. I suspect that' why there might be some congestion at rush hour.

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This is another good move. Allegiant was probably the last low cost carrier that I would have liked to see there but with this comes added competition, new destinations and hopefully lower costs.

Could you expound upon this? I've taken advantage of Allegiant a number of times already.

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Could you expound upon this? I've taken advantage of Allegiant a number of times already.

Dont get me wrong Alligiant is better than nothing and I am glad to see they have expanded service and are doing well here (I would still like to see service to LAX) but in my opinions it operates more like a charter airline, does not have daily service only weekly or twice a week ect.

It flies into a lot of secondary airports like Phoenix (MESA) and Orlando (Sanford) ect which are further from the action and don't offer many connection options if that is what your looking for.

It also targets small market cities with no competition to those destinations such as Plattsburg NY and Pasco WA so its like a minor league carrier with GRR being one of the largest airports that it operates out of with probably one of the highest competition.

Most importantly it came here at the expense of Lansing's Capitol Region airport which is struggling but imo a crucial airport to survive in the state considering it is the capitol and hosts one of that largest universities in the country.

My first desire would have been Southwest, which offers daily direct flight to several large and midsized cities as part of their model, then Jet blue which has hubs at JFK, Boston, Washington Dulles all of which are major airports not served by ford. and Airtran, which is now here but also uses better airports. These airlines seem more big league to me but Alligiant does have good looking planes I like the color scheme, Airtran is hideous

Edited by GR8scott

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Allegiant Air brings 60 jobs to Grand Rapids, adds Myrtle Beach starting April 27th.

That brings to 6 the number of cities it services here. You wonder if their expansion would of been possible staying in Lansing.

http://www.mlive.com...rings_60_j.html

It's very cool to see good things happening at the airport. It's about time we started getting some advantageous pricing.

One quick question. Can someone square these two comments for me?

"The Las Vegas-based discount airline specializes in serving smaller airports with nonstop flights to leisure destinations several times a week. It does not offer one-stop or connecting flights and flies on 150-seat MD-80 series jets."

"Squyres said the airline does not view Grand Rapids as a final destination for its customers."

Where are people going once their non-stop to GRR lands? Is it assumed they are renting a car and driving to Chicago or booking a second flight from GRR to somewhere else? Not that I care that much as long as it brings jobs and money to Grand Rapids - not to mention people who can learn more about the area.

Just curious.

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"Squyres said the airline does not view Grand Rapids as a final destination for its customers."

My assumption, they expect to pull from Lansing, maybe even Detroit, definitely Kalamazoo, Traverse City, Benton Harbor, etc.

I think they're saying lots of car rentals to get people home.

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My assumption, they expect to pull from Lansing, maybe even Detroit, definitely Kalamazoo, Traverse City, Benton Harbor, etc.

I think they're saying lots of car rentals to get people home.

I'd agree. Probably also explains the robust planning for parking with the new 4000 car parking ramp. They hope to win back the 20% leakage, PLUS start creating leakage in other markets.

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My assumption, they expect to pull from Lansing, maybe even Detroit, definitely Kalamazoo, Traverse City, Benton Harbor, etc.

I think they're saying lots of car rentals to get people home.

Plus an increase hopefully in regional bus services to and from the airport and hotel & casino shuttles.

By the way, 90% loads for Allegiant out of here. Impressive.

Edited by arcturus

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"Squyres said the airline does not view Grand Rapids as a final destination for its customers."

A lot of interesting interpretations of this phrase. I think it just means that they expect that most of their passengers on these flights will originate from Grand Rapids and environs and will fly to one of the vacation destinations. But not so many people in the resort areas, Orlando for example, will be making Grand Rapids their vacation destination.

Allegiant's niche after all is vacations, and a good part of their revenue comes from selling vacation packages.

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Wow that opens the West with nonstop to Denver!

Republic Airways, which recently bought both Frontier and Midwest, also is the company that flies the two existing Denver flights to Grand Rapids under the United Express brand. Unless United changes express carriers or drops their flights, Republic will be competing against themselves.

Look for Frontier to be flying from the Midwest gate. Republic for now is keeping both the Frontier and Midwest brands but they code share both airlines' flights and are combining frequent flyer programs and they even interchange planes and crews. Republic has combined the headquarters of both airlines in Indianapolis.

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Republic Airways, which recently bought both Frontier and Midwest, also is the company that flies the two existing Denver flights to Grand Rapids under the United Express brand. Unless United changes express carriers or drops their flights, Republic will be competing against themselves.

Look for Frontier to be flying from the Midwest gate. Republic for now is keeping both the Frontier and Midwest brands but they code share both airlines' flights and are combining frequent flyer programs and they even interchange planes and crews. Republic has combined the headquarters of both airlines in Indianapolis.

So Fronteir isn't really "coming" to GR? It's nothing more than a publicity stunt?

Too bad.

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So Fronteir isn't really "coming" to GR? It's nothing more than a publicity stunt?

Too bad.

No it’s not a stunt, the new flight is real enough. It's not so much that Frontier is coming to Grand Rapids than that it is already here under an assumed name. Republic has apparently melded Frontier and Midwest together but can’t decide which name to use so they are using both names for now. My guess is they will eventually settle on Frontier. This is getting way off topic but if you are really interested here are some links that kind of explain what's going on:

melding Midwest and Frontier

dropping the Midwest name

swapping planes in the middle of the day

As for Republic flying the Denver United Express route, before Republic bought Midwest and Frontier last year their business consisted of flying commuter routes under contract to the major carriers. Now that they are in competition with United at their Denver hub, it will be interesting to see if United finds another carrier.

Too far off-topic - I'm done

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After recently inspecting the completed 2009 improvements to Ford Airport (ramp/canopy/motor drive) I was struck by the sense that the Aeronautics Board may have been listening to the conversations of The Rapid/ITP's GT2 Steering Committee that I have served over the last several years - specially my fear that the new ramp would be built without any thought for future connection to the long-coneptualized GVSU-Allendale/Ford Airport East/West Lightrail line. As I walked up toward the atrium that was smack-dab in the center of the ramp I thought to myself, "my GOD, they're leaving a space for the east terminus of the East/West line's rail platform!". If the pride I felt at that moment in the vision of some of Kent County's leadership is not misplaced, then it bodes well for our hopes of becoming a world-class region that lives up to the defining portion of our regional name - GRAND.

Edited by metrogrkid

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