Ford airport celebrating 3.5M passengers in 2019

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is celebrating a record-breaking year after serving more than 3.5 million passengers in 2019.

This marks the seventh consecutive year that the airport has seen growth in ridership. In 2018, the airport reported serving 3 million passengers.

“We hope that this is a trend because it’s a trend that’s growing and positive,” said airport CEO Tory Richardson.

Richardson and airport staff spent Tuesday afternoon giving back to customers who they say made the milestone possible. They selected two random passengers and gifted them with a bag full of gift cards, a neck pillow and $700 worth of flight vouchers.

“I had no idea,” said passenger Karen Burleson who won one of the gift bags.

Burleson says she hopes to use the vouchers to see family.

“My daughter just moved to Texas in August, so I can’t wait to spend a little time with her,” Burleson said.

Airport staffers credit their repeated success to the additional flight routes they now offer and the boom in the local economy.

“It was our way of saying thank you to the community, to the folks that are in our community that use the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. We know that they have choices, and we appreciate that they choose us,” Richardson said.

Richardson says they can only hope for more growth in 2020.