CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Gerald R. Ford International Airport will begin operating under its own governance starting Friday.

Kent County has controlled the Ford Airport for the past 52 years.

In December, Gerald R. Ford Airport Authority and Kent County Board of Commissioners reached agreements in December to transfer control of the airport from Kent County to the Airport Authority.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to officially announce the transition Friday afternoon.

“A lot has changed in the past 60 years since the airport has been governed by the airport board, especially in aviation with consolidation of airlines. The competition for service among communities is fierce, the ability to develop our lands economically so that we can provide additional revenue sources to keep this airport self-sufficient,” said Phillip Johnson, Gerald R. Ford International Airport’s acting executive director.

The Ford Airport generates more than $3.1 billion into the West Michigan economy and set a passenger record in 2015 with more than 2.3 million travelers.