Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) has broken ground on its new aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) facility in Michigan.

This 14.5 million USD project aims to further enhance passenger safety and aircraft operations.

It will construct a 25,000-square-foot facility with larger bays for advanced firefighting vehicles, specialised equipment and expanded training spaces for ARFF personnel.

Ford International Airport's new aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) facility
Ford International Airport’s new aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) facility

The facility will be an addition to GRR’s recently completed airport operations centre, which consolidated key teams such as operations and communications and included a new emergency operations centre (EOC).

By strategically positioning the ARFF facility and operations centre together the airport will increase response times, reduce potential hazards and mitigate risks.

Tory Richardson, President and CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority said:

We are grateful to celebrate this momentous occasion as we break ground on this new innovative facility. This investment is a testament to the Airport’s commitment to providing world-class safety and security measures to our passengers, partners and community members.

The new facility will support the Airport Authority’s 19-member ARFF team. It will be staffed 24/7 by professionals trained to respond to aviation accidents and incidents. This includes rescuing passengers and crew members, minimising property damage and conducting salvage operations.

It will also be used for training and supporting Ford International Airport’s mutual aid partners.

Lisa Carr, Public Safety and Operations Director for the Ford International Airport Authority said;

Our team does an excellent job maintaining the highest level of safety, and they look forward to a new building that supports enhanced functionality and efficiency. By investing in cutting-edge infrastructure and advanced training for our firefighting teams, we can further prepare for any potential emergencies or incidents that happen at the Airport or surrounding areas.

The construction of the new facility is funded by a combination of federal and state grants, municipal bonds issued by the Airport and user fees.

It is expected to be completed by February 2025.


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