Ford International Airport launches new operations centre

Posted: 28 October 2022 | | No comments yet

Gerald R. Ford International Airport has launched its new operations centre, which will unite key teams within operations and communications, as well as a new emergency operations centre.

Credit: Ford International Airport

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) has celebrated the completion and opening of its new operations centre, which will consolidate key teams such as operations and communications; including a new emergency operations centre (EOC).

The EOC is activated during an emergency at the Ford International Airport, supporting tenants and mutual aid agencies in Kent County.

The facility is accessible air-side and public-side, making it ideal to provide daily operations support and reachable during an emergency. In a second phase, the Ford International Airport plans to expand the centre to include its fire department at the site.

“The Ford International Airport’s new operations centre offers state-of-the-art technology to support the Airport, tenants and mutual aid agencies in Kent County,” commented Lisa Carr, Public Safety and Operations Director for the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. “Our team is thrilled with the features and security that this space will provide for our operations.”

The user-friendly building is staffed 24/7 and is built to withstand extreme weather conditions,
including winds up to 250mph. It is equipped with purposeful redundancies in technologies and communication channels to ensure services continue during an emergency. A heated parking bay ensures that vehicles stay out of the elements and snow-free.

To accommodate increasing passenger demand, this building provides the Ford International Airport Authority team with a larger space to best perform the necessary functions of airport operations. A video wall displays important resources, such as current NOTAMs, flight tracking, flight arrival and departure times, and security cameras.

Special attention has been given to creating a space that is both functional and pleasant to work in.

The facility includes a data centre, video walls and special document review spaces, as well as an inviting office, conference and break spaces. The operations centre is well-equipped for conducting training, working independently during times of shift overlap, and reviewing design plans and construction documents.

With two fully functional consoles, communications specialists can easily dispatch police, fire,
maintenance and janitorial teams and utilise color-coded display lights to indicate to other team
members when someone has an emergency call in progress.

“Having an Emergency Operations Centre at the Airport will improve the quality and timeliness of the response to an emergency and reduce recovery time,” said Kent County Emergency Management Co-ordinator, Matt Groesser. “This Emergency Operations Centre plays a critical role by also providing a secure space for other community emergency management functions such as a Joint Information Centre (JIC) or a Multi-Agency Co-ordination (MAC) group to plan and lead other components of emergency operations.”

“Thank you to the many partners who had a hand in this process,” added Tory Richardson, Ford
International Airport Authority President and CEO. “Seeing the finished building is an exciting next
step in the future advancements at the Ford International Airport so that we can best serve West
Michigan and beyond.”

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