By Tara Hernandez
The Gerald R. Ford International (GFIA) Airport has set a new all-time passenger record for 2016, marking the fourth straight year that the Airport has seen record-setting growth.
In 2016, 2,653,630 passengers flew in and out of GFIA, an increase of 4.06% from 2015. December growth helped cap the record-setting year with an increase of 6.53% year-over-year. December 2015 saw 202,769 total passengers, but 2016 surpassed that with 216,017 enplaned and deplaned passengers. Passenger growth was recorded in 9 of the 12 months of 2016 at GFIA.
The growth over the last few years started in 2013 with a passenger record of 2,237,979. In 2014, that number jumped to 2,335,105. In 2015, GFIA broke its own record once again with a passenger total record of 2,550,193 — a 9.21% year-over-year increase. Over the past four years, the Airport has recorded its strongest growth in its 53-year history, serving over 9.7 million passengers over the four-year time period.
“This is a testament to the growing West Michigan community, and the investment our airline partners have made at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport,” said GFIA President & CEO Jim Gill.
“This growth further justifies the need for our Gateway Transformation Project to accommodate the increasing passenger demand, and the need our airlines have in-gate space, amenities, and customer service offerings.”
July 2016 was the single busiest month in Airport history with 238,237 total passengers traveling through GFIA resulting in the busiest July ever, and breaking an all-time monthly record from July 2015.
The Gateway Transformation Project began in December 2015 and is slated to continue through summer 2017. The project’s main feature is the consolidated passenger security checkpoint which will centralize and combine security screening to one main checkpoint in the Airport, eliminating separate screening for passengers traveling through either Concourse A or B. Construction also includes new terrazzo flooring, lighting fixtures, restroom & nursing rooms, family restrooms, pre- and post-security business centers, new retail and food & beverage space and much more.
“As we continue to grow in traffic it is imperative that our facilities keep up with our passenger demand,” said Gill. “There is a reason our passengers keep coming back, and as they do we will continue to do our part to improve our amenities, technology, customer service and infrastructure. We are excited to see what the future holds, and we only expect more growth in the years to come.”
The Airport will be celebrating this historic passenger record with daily surprises and giveaways by ‘paying it forward’ to passengers through next week.
GFIA monthly passenger statistics are available on the website.