CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Gerald R. Ford International Airport on Wednesday celebrated the expansion of one of its concourses with a beam raising ceremony.

The airport near Grand Rapids is spending about $110 million to more than double the capacity of Concourse A. Eight more gates will bring the total to 15. There will also be more restaurants and shops and a new executive lounge.

Leadership says the expansion will create 300 permanent jobs when it opens fully by the end of 2023.

A model of the expansion of Concourse A at Gerald R. Ford International Airport. (April 27, 2022)
A model of the expansion of Concourse A at Gerald R. Ford International Airport. (April 27, 2022)

It’s the first of three stages in a nearly $500 million investment in the airport. Phase two will include the addition of a federal inspection station for international screening. The third phase, which was announced in August 2019, will relocate the air traffic control tower.

The airport says the project is funded by federal and state grants.

Passenger numbers tanked during the pandemic, but the airport says those numbers are now near pre-pandemic levels.