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Grand Rapids International Airport Information

Playing a major role in early United States aviation history, the Grand Rapids Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) is a truly special place in west Michigan. The airport is located in the small community of Cascade Township, which is about a dozen miles from the city of Grand Rapids.

The early aviation history relating to the airport began in 1911, when a crowd witnessed a Wright biplane fly off from the fairground in Comstock Park. This was a truly spectacular event that was part of early aviation history related to the Wright brothers' breakthroughs in the early 20th century. In 1919, Kent County officially broke ground in an area several miles from Grand Rapids. In 1926, Kent County Airport was the site of the first ever regular scheduled passenger airline service in the United States. Such a historic event in aviation history truly put the Grand Rapids area on the spotlight. Even the famous American aviator Charles Lindbergh landed at the Kent County Airport in the 1920's.

During World War II, Kent County Airport was heavily used by the military and this eventually put too much stress on the airport's grounds. Several years after World War II, Kent County Airport moved to the current location of the Grand Rapids Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Since then, major renovations have dramatically improved commercial service at the airport. The new additions included an expanded runway that's 10,000 feet long, which received the airport's first ever Boeing 747. In the late 1990's, an 8,500-foot long runway was added to the airport to accommodate increasing air traffic. There is also a 5,000-foot long runway still in use.

In 1999, Kent County Airport was renamed to honor Gerald R. Ford, who served as the 38th president of the United States. President Ford was very active throughout Michigan, particularly in the Grand Rapids area, which is home to his tomb monument and presidential museum.

At the beginning of the new Millenium, the Grand Rapids Gerald R. Ford International Airport invested 50 million dollars for renovations to the terminal building. This much needed upgrade gives GRR airport the capacity to easily serve more than 2 million passengers every year. One of the latest additions to the airport is the parking garage that has more than 4,700 spaces for passenger vehicles. Altogether, GRR Airport can accommodate nearly 10,000-parked cars at its grounds.

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