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Grand Rapids Chamber calls on FAA to construct new tower at the Gerald R Ford International Airport

Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Old one is out of date and a safety issue, say officials.

In an effort to replace the Air-Traffic-Control Tower at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Monday called on the Federal Aviation Administration to approve the project.

In a letter sent to the FAA, the Grand Rapids Chamber, along with 64 other businesses and organizations, said it “strongly supports” efforts the replace the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) at Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR).

Built in 1963, officials say, the airport’s current tower airport is the oldest one of the top 75 commercial service airports in the country, is out of date, isn’t tall enough, and has become a safety and liability issue, as Gerald R. Ford continues to see a steady increase in the number of passengers the airport accommodates each year.

Rick Baker is the President & CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber. He says a new tower at the airport is a top priority in West Michigan.

“We have known for thirty years that this upgrade will improve safety, efficiency, access, and economic development in West Michigan. It is time for the FAA to take action and move forward.”

Baker says, proposals are on the table to tear down the existing tower and construct more parking facilities at the airport, while moving the location of the new tower across the airport campus.

The airport is already under extensive renovations, as back in April, officials broke ground on a $110 million expansion that will add 157,000 square feet to the airport to accommodate rapid passenger growth.

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