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Grand Rapids Airport (GRR) News and Developments


joeDowntown

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/6/2021 at 1:35 PM, GreatLakesPrintShop said:

Was Portland  already announced?

CB8D93C9-273A-4AC2-BA4A-A6BDFE4F350A.jpeg

Why the spray bottle? Are they filling the streams in Oregon with chemicals? :P 

It's great seeing the airport busy again. We flew back from vacation mid week last week and arrived around 3:30pm. Concourse A was packed at almost every gate and spilling into the main aisle. And the pick-up dropoff area was nuts. 

Wonder when the physical construction of the concourse expansion is set to begin. Anyone heard? And the tower move? 

The expanded apron won an award! :)

https://www.grr.org/news/ford-airports-terminal-reconstruction-and-expansion-project-receives-acec-engineering-excellence-merit-award

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2 hours ago, NoDustBusterNoMore said:

Haven't heard anything about the concourse expansion lately, but there should be a couple of new hangars popping up around the airport fairly soon.

Occasionally I do my daily exercise walk around the perimeter of the airport between the terminal and the viewing area and back.  Walking by the other day I noticed Rockford Construction is building something just west of the Amway hanger. I think the building permit on their trailer said Meijer hanger.  And on the other side of the street there is another hanger of some sort just about finished being built adjacent to the short north runway.  

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24 minutes ago, walker said:

Occasionally I do my daily exercise walk around the perimeter of the airport between the terminal and the viewing area and back.  Walking by the other day I noticed Rockford Construction is building something just west of the Amway hanger. I think the building permit on their trailer said Meijer hanger.  And on the other side of the street there is another hanger of some sort just about finished being built adjacent to the short north runway.  

Yep, the Meijer Hangar should be going up soon.

Then the West Michigan Aviation Academy is putting up a hangar at the end of the concrete pad in the picture below:

image.png.c477a64a680d8b697e2f41f04fef26c8.png

@walkerIs that the hangar you saw that's almost finished?

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4 hours ago, NoDustBusterNoMore said:

Yep, the Meijer Hangar should be going up soon.

Then the West Michigan Aviation Academy is putting up a hangar at the end of the concrete pad in the picture below:

image.png.c477a64a680d8b697e2f41f04fef26c8.png

@walkerIs that the hangar you saw that's almost finished?

Yes, except there is actually a building there now.  Considering how close it is to the school, I was thinking it might be connected to them.

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On 6/1/2021 at 12:25 PM, NoDustBusterNoMore said:

Yep, the Meijer Hangar should be going up soon.

I work for Meijer and had no idea they were building their own hangar! I wonder if they will still use Signature for their terminal/waiting area or will build that into the new building. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just noticed an update from the airport showing mock control tower layout and looked somewhat odd, maybe heptagon shaped. Glad they seem to be moving forward with all of the project elevate expansion plans (slowly) including the control tower which they said was too short but commented it was still at least 3-5 years out. Interestingly the currently tower is apparently the 2nd oldest tower in US top 100 airports, its estimated at 136ft and the new similar looking ones recently built in kzoo and TC are listed at 166 and 160 ft. so hope they building something aesthetically pleasing and taller than those since it will be even more visible. 

https://www.facebook.com/FlyGRFord

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  • 5 weeks later...

Yesterday United Airlines announced that they’ve signed an agreement to acquire one-hundred electric powered airliners for Mesa Airlines, their United Express commuter airline.  Nobody said anything about using these in Grand Rapids but I thought these would be an ideal aircraft to use for multiple round trips between Grand Rapids and Milwaukee.  These are small nineteen seat commuter planes with limited range.  Back before nineteen seat turboprop planes became uneconomical to fly mainly because of fuel prices, Grand Rapids was served on many routes to nearby second tier cities using turboprop commuter aircraft.  Cities such as Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Traverse City, and others.    But most successfully Milwaukee. 

 Grand Rapids to and from Milwaukee is a short trip you could easily drive if it wasn't for Lake Michigan sitting between the two cities. The trick to make it work is you need to have multiple flights spread over the day which isn't economical using larger aircraft. Back before nineteen seat turboprops became uneconomical Skyway Airlines flew around eight roundtrips between the two cities daily using mostly Beech 1900 turboprop commuter aircraft along with a couple flights using an odd small 32 seat jet.  Skyway Airlines was the commuter airline for Midwest Express.  (The relaunch of Midwest Express that was announced a couple of years ago and was commented on here was someone’s pipe dream that appears to be dead in the water, I suppose you could say me proposing using this electric aircraft is my pipe dream.)

Here's United’s announcement:

United electric aircraft announcement

And here’s the website of the aircraft manufacturer.  If you pull-up their FAQ they tell you why they are starting with a nineteen seat aircraft rather than something bigger and why it will be economical to operate unlike the old nineteen seat turboprops:

https://heartaerospace.com/

I suppose the downside of this is we’d need more of those unsightly windmills and solar farms to generate electricity.

ES_19_United-2-916x515.jpg

Edited by walker
added photo
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  • 5 months later...
2 hours ago, arcturus said:

As this is the holiday traveling season here's the latest passenger traffic at GR Ford.

Year over year (Nov) up 105.24%.  Compared to 2019 down 6%.

Year over year YTD through Nov up 63.58%.  Compared to 2019 down 19%.

 

Thats great news. What kind of 2021 total year estimate is it looking like? It seems as if the Project Elevate was delayed about a year but looks like it has currently completed expansion for the customs area and looks to have started on the concourse expansion but there has been very little information reported about it. 

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On 12/22/2021 at 2:44 PM, GR8scott said:

Thats great news. What kind of 2021 total year estimate is it looking like? It seems as if the Project Elevate was delayed about a year but looks like it has currently completed expansion for the customs area and looks to have started on the concourse expansion but there has been very little information reported about it. 

The concourse expansion has started? I was wondering about that. 

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, GR_Urbanist said:

Well here is a bit of a surprise. It looks like our humble airport is going to advertise itself during the Super Bowl (or "Big Game"...Please dont sue me, NFL!).

Ford Airport to debut 1st ad during Super Bowl - YouTube

I'm not sure that this is a national ad or a spot allocated for local advertising, though.

Local… paying for a national spot would be the worst idea ever. 

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  • 2 months later...

The design looks great, seems to emulate the older parts a bit while making it larger, more modern and adding some color to the bland concrete exterior. They mentioned more food and retail options, that is one thing that is severely lacking even with the addition of founders there were others that closed. It would be great to see a mix of local and national chains represented. 

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Yes you cant really tell what they are planning with the existing concourse, it would be very odd if they left it as is and you walk through the old part to get to the nice open new part without remodeling, maybe raising the roof with some skylights or some pushout areas. 

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I can't remember if anyone has posted the GRR concourse vision video that is on their website so I'll do it.

Pretty impressive.  It's even got Lake Michigan and sand dunes and fall colors.  The crowd of happy people are all well groomed and fit and diverse and not anxious or in a hurry, and there  are no babies crying, or babies at all.  There's only a couple of children and they are well behaved and are just quietly looking out the window.

There's what appears to be a couple of seconds of walking through what must be the old concourse portion with its remodeled but still low  ceilings then you hit the new spacious high-ceiling addition.

Slide down just a little for the video:

GRR: concourse - a vision and a journey.
 

Late EDIT: looking at this again just now, I guess I can understand why everyone in happy and not in a hurry.  It's so nice there, who would ever want to leave?

Edited by walker
to add sliding instructions
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The video is very beautiful! 

 

I just hope there are some plans to get some sort of airport to DT transportation option back into service. It's always that one thing that bugs me about our airport. Having all of these people arrive in that wonderful space, and the only way into the city is either a car or a loooooooooong walk through Kentwood. 

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