Is The Best Small Airport in the U.S. Right Here in Michigan?
It’s time for another USA Today/10best.com Reader’s Choice Poll, and we once again have a Michigan contender. This contest is looking to honor the Best Small Airport in the country, and Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) will look to make its case for the top spot as it celebrates its 60th anniversary. From 10best: “These 20 airports — nominated as the best in the U.S. by an expert panel — serve smaller numbers of passengers each year, yet excel with their commercial flight offerings, easy access, and amenities.” Today we will take a look at the case for Gerald R. Ford International Airport and provide links for you to cast your vote. We’ve always had a great experience when flying out of our local airport, and couldn’t be happier to see it receive some national attention!
The airport dates back to the 1960s and was known as the Kent County Airport and Kent County International Airport before being re-named in honor of the 38th President of the United States in 1999. The Ford International Airport currently sees flights from Allegiant Air, American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. Many FedEx and UPS planes also use this airport. It has continued to expand and provide better service over the past few decades with the construction of more gates, a new air traffic control tower, a new federal inspection station, and a new car rental facility.
Top destinations from GRR include Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. More than 3.4 million passengers arrived at or departed from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Last year.
The paragraph encouraging voters to support GRR reads: “Named in honor of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford International Airport serves as the gateway to the sprawling eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Amenities around here range from a dedicated military welcome center to plane-themed playrooms for younger guests, while craft beer fans can swing by MI Tap Room for a much-needed local IPA before boarding begins.” You can vote once a day in the contest that ends on October 2nd. At the time of this writing, GRR was in 1st place out of the 20 finalists.
For those looking to check out the airport without flying, the Airport Viewing Park is located on Kraft Ave. north of 52nd Street. This is a great place to watch the hundreds of flights that arrive and depart each day, and the park has picnic pavilions and restrooms.