Warwick, RI – April 8, 2020 – The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) today expressed their disappointment in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s final order on Service Obligations for Air Carriers Receiving Financial Relief through the CARES Act on April 7, 2020.
The Rhode Island Airport Corporation issued the following statement regarding the issuance of the order:
As noted in the Rhode Island Airport Corporation’s public comment, we strongly disagree with the Department of Transportation’s decision to consider Providence and Boston as part of the same metropolitan area in establishing their minimum service requirements for air carriers through September 30, 2020.
Currently there are approximately 27 departures from T.F. Green Airport scheduled each day for the coming weeks, however we expect the number of flights to drop further, in part due to the ruling by the Department of Transportation, and in part to the historic 95% drop in passenger volume experienced by all airports. At this time last year, we would have seen 5,500 individuals departing T.F. Green Airport on a given day in April, but currently we see less than 200 individuals departing Rhode Island on essential travel.
RIAC recognizes that a return to 2019 passenger levels will be a long, slow, multi-year process, dependent on our nation’s ability to weather the storm of coronavirus and a return to national economic health and consumer demand for safe travel. We remain hopeful that airlines will continue to provide adequate access for essential travel for Rhode Island over the coming months.
RIAC had previously issued public testimony opposing the Department’s determination that T.F Green Airport and Boston Logan Airport serve the same metropolitan region:
About RIAC: The Rhode Island Airport Corporation was formed on December 9, 1992 as a semi-autonomous subsidiary of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to operate and maintain the state’s airport system. The powers of the corporation are vested in its seven-member board of directors, all of whom are appointed by the governor. The Rhode Island Airport Corporation is responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the six state-owned airports; and the supervision of all civil airports, landing areas, navigation facilities, air schools and flying clubs. In addition to T. F. Green Airport, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation is responsible for five general aviation airports throughout the state: Block Island, Newport, North Central, Quonset and Westerly. For more information visit RIAC at https://www.pvdairport.com/