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Grand Rapids Airport (GRR) News and Developments


joeDowntown

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13 minutes ago, egrguy said:

Likewise, I found stats for 2018.  Perhaps, based on our growth we could guestimate GR Ford could be anywhere from #51-#55 after another record year. 

image.png.baad687957a35a9ee88b581f201ed4eb.png

 

These numbers are for single passengers, not enplane/deplanements.  Based on this metric GR's numbers would be around 1.8million-ish.  Nationally GR's aiport is going to be ranked in the 77-80 range.  I dont know the official 2019 rankings, up to date passenger statistics are hard to find, usually behind pay walls. 

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I'll be the debbie downer. An 800 foot tunnel won't do it. The current north runway is a taxiway for the future east west runway. It will be a duplicate of the current east - west. I don't think the FAA will allow a public road / tunnel under a main runway. It would need to have 24/7 security for potential terrorist incident.

Next time you leave the terminal and go around the north end of the garage, look north. The existing runway is a long ways down. The tunnel will need to be at least 25 feet below the runway. Could it physically be done? Sure but wouldn't be cheap.

There's absolutely no reason to take 28th St.  Go a mile further to 36th St. 36th and Patterson are 5 lane, 55 mph  speed limits. Even 44th St east of 131 flows pretty good. Or take M-6 to M-37 to Patterson.  All to save 5 minutes? You will take far longer than that taking your shoes and belt off and putting them back on in security.

The second access to the airport was cut off back in the 60's when Kraft was dead ended at the RR tracks.

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1 hour ago, Pattmost20 said:

Thank goodness for TSA pre-check.

My wife and I (and daughter sometimes) fly to Tampa for a few weeks every winter (sitting by the beach as I type. We always were pre approved, thought it was we are over 65. Nope, had to take my shoes and belt off this time. I warned them, I've lost some weight and when I put my hands up, the pants might go down.  Lots of laughter - pants didn't fall down :)

Now you want to talk airports - Tampa is a biggy. Yes it has ramps from 275 but they are usually about 25-30 mph.  You have to have your wits about you driving into and out of that terminal.

To change the topic, how about the new cell lot? Out in BFE, 2 parts with no connection. I saw folks parked at the aviation school parking lot when we were dropped off a couple weeks ago.

Edited by Raildudes dad
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36 minutes ago, egrguy said:

So for my understanding, is an enplanement/deplanement just the act of just boarding or de-boarding on a per plane basis? 

Someone correct me if I am wrong but I believe -

Enplanement - counts origin and destination (so only people who are starting at GR or visting GR)

Total Passenger - counts connections as well (counts people with a layover in GR twice)

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2 hours ago, Raildudes dad said:

My wife and I (and daughter sometimes) fly to Tampa for a few weeks every winter (sitting by the beach as I type. We always were pre approved, thought it was we are over 65. Nope, had to take my shoes and belt off this time. I warned them, I've lost some weight and when I put my hands up, the pants might go down.  Lots of laughter - pants didn't fall down :)

Now you want to talk airports - Tampa is a biggy. Yes it has ramps from 275 but they are usually about 25-30 mph.  You have to have your wits about you driving into and out of that terminal.

To change the topic, how about the new cell lot? Out in BFE, 2 parts with no connection. I saw folks parked at the aviation school parking lot when we were dropped off a couple weeks ago.

That cell lot is a joke. I went to pick up my wife and because she wasn't physically on the sidewalk (baggage claim) they made me move. I circled around and came back and she still wasn't there, security recognized me and said go to the cell lot.... which is way out by Patterson and the rental car places, back off a weird drive that makes you think you're going to the fuel depot or something.

They really need to enhance traffic flow and the dropoff area. It's not a sleepy regional airport anymore.

 

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Flew in and out of SeaTac (including departure from a new gate) recently and was curious just what increase in passenger traffic they've experienced from 5 years ago.  12 million more annually., up to around 45 million or so.

Just hope the local airport authority doesn't underestimate the demand.  Can you imagine trying to prepare for a simple increase in volume 3.5x what GR gets annually?

Taking a stab at demographics here but it's my feeling Michigan becomes progressively transient with aging year-round residents moving to other states and snowbirding, putting added demand for airline service.  If there's one thing about this state it's that many don't completely pull up stakes altogether, just live here less.  Unsure how that fits into the total picture but we're seeing clues with recent destination announcements.

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On 3/5/2020 at 3:38 PM, GRDadof3 said:

That cell lot is a joke. I went to pick up my wife and because she wasn't physically on the sidewalk (baggage claim) they made me move. I circled around and came back and she still wasn't there, security recognized me and said go to the cell lot.... which is way out by Patterson and the rental car places, back off a weird drive that makes you think you're going to the fuel depot or something.

They really need to enhance traffic flow and the dropoff area. It's not a sleepy regional airport anymore.

 

Not last night. Waiting for our ride to show up I see a car parked at the west end. The woman stayed in the passenger seat, (husband goes in and gets a son? with golf clubs etc.- figured this out when they came out)   I watch her, she gets in the drivers seat and pulls up 4 car lengths and parks.  Out they come and load the car.  That needs to stop. Our ride showed up , from time he stopped, time to load the bags and us to back underway, 3 minutes tops because we couldn't find the seat belt buckle. lol. Cars parked all along Oostema in the bump outs waiting. Didn't appear anyone was watching the pick up drop off last night. A couple people with whistles would speed things up.  And don't let folks just step off the curb in front of cars, with 4 stop signs in 200 feet.  Again,  a couple traffic directors at peak times would really expedite things. For perspective last night about 7pm , 3 planes at the B concourse, not sure how many at A.  The security check in at TSA did not have 1 person in line

As for congestion, picked up our daughter in Tampa a week ago Wednesday night. Spent 15 minutes, double lane stop and go, mostly stopped from the cell lot to get to inbound pickup at the Blue Terminal, 4 lanes, 2 for pickup, 2 thru lanes 300-400 fet long with 3-4 traffic "directors" getting cars in and out of the pickup lanes.  Congestion at GRR?, not really.

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@Raildudes dad was at the lunch-n-learn and talked about a meeting he was at recently for the airport authority. The added apron work was for growth rates from a few years ago and they may already need to do more upgrades/expansions since passenger traffic has exploded (Covid19 notwithstanding which will be a temporary slowdown). They're now housing the largest number of planes they've ever had at night, 29 planes. Anyone go out there at night and get pictures? That's got to be quite a sight. 

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19 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

@Raildudes dad was at the lunch-n-learn and talked about a meeting he was at recently for the airport authority. The added apron work was for growth rates from a few years ago and they may already need to do more upgrades/expansions since passenger traffic has exploded (Covid19 notwithstanding which will be a temporary slowdown). They're now housing the largest number of planes they've ever had at night, 29 planes. Anyone go out there at night and get pictures? That's got to be quite a sight. 

I can get some pictures.  I fly in around 11 sometimes, and pretty much fly out every Monday at 6am.  ( Yes my friends are approaching me in hazmat suits at the moment :eyeroll:)

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On 4/29/2020 at 8:38 AM, egrguy said:

JetBlue, Delta seek U.S. OK to suspend flights to 25 U.S. airports

Flint, Kalamazoo and Lansing. Delta stating that those customers can use GRR and Detroit instead.  I've got a scheduled trip to FL in June... with airports down nearly 95% seems like planes/airports are pretty set up for social distancing already.

An earlier sloppy  version of that same story said Delta was seeking to suspend GRR flights (instead of Kalamazoo.)

earlier Reuters article 

Edited by walker
fix typo
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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a flight out of GRR with Delta in June. My flight got cancelled and there are no alternative options via Delta for the entire month of June (this just happened today). Not sure if they will add some flights back into the mix or not.

I did check and Frontier and American still had flights available for $109/$168 round trip out of GRR.  I was 50/50 on if I was still going to fly out in June, this probably helped make up my mind.

Overall, I am not surprised, but still astounded by the 95% drop in airline traffic. 

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19 hours ago, egrguy said:

I had a flight out of GRR with Delta in June. My flight got cancelled and there are no alternative options via Delta for the entire month of June (this just happened today). Not sure if they will add some flights back into the mix or not.

I did check and Frontier and American still had flights available for $109/$168 round trip out of GRR.  I was 50/50 on if I was still going to fly out in June, this probably helped make up my mind.

Overall, I am not surprised, but still astounded by the 95% drop in airline traffic. 

I have a Delta Flight in early June to Tampa.  So far I have not been canceled, here's to hoping...  Just curious, what was the destination of your canceled flight?

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3 hours ago, egrguy said:

Orlando. I  did some checking and there are some limited flight options out of DTW. But from my searches all of the Delta flights out of GR for June are listed as sold out.

Good luck to you! 

Thanks, fortunately my flight has not gotten canceled yet

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  • 5 weeks later...

Passenger counts dropped over 96%,  recently bouncing to just 1400 vs 7000 daily.   Do you throw millions into social distancing mitigation to avoid zig zag TSA checkpoint lines and other clustering?  Or continue enforcing face masks to buy time waiting to see if a vaccine emerges?

We've just begun to see the economic consequences.

https://grbj.com/uncategorized/airport-struggles-with-passenger-counts/

Edited by arcturus
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Suspect long-term net positive for GRR as major and regionals consolidate post-COVID. DAL recently suspended service from Flint Bishop and UA is suspending service form Kalamazoo & Lansing. I believe most of the expansion money was earmarked before the pandemic hit and I can't imagine we won't see a substantial infrastructure package passed soon.

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/18/2020 at 11:18 AM, egrguy said:

Anecdotal stats. Flew in and out of GRR this week. TSA mentioned they are seeing roughly 800-900 travelers per shift vs 200 at its lowest. 

The planes flying over my house have increased dramatically this past week. We're somewhat in the flight path of the North-South runway. 

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