Public comment encouraged for plan to help prioritize nearly $100 million in general aviation airport investments over the next decade

The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) announced today that it has published a draft of the General Aviation Airport Strategic Business Plan for public review and comment. In 2019, RIAC initiated a strategic business planning process for all five of Rhode Island’s general aviation airports. This process included North Central State Airport, Quonset State Airport, Westerly State Airport, Block Island State Airport and Newport State Airport. The draft plan can be accessed directly via https://tinyurl.com/RI-GASBP.  RIAC requests that written comments be emailed to [email protected] by December 31, 2021.

Once finalized and adopted, the General Aviation Strategic Business Plan will provide a predictable and equitable roadmap for stakeholders at each of the state’s five general aviation airports and identify priority projects for the next decade of capital improvements. The effort is expected to result in the investment of approximately $98 million into local airports, which is estimated to produce an economic impact of $193 million for the State of Rhode Island. 

Since 2019, RIAC’s internal General Aviation task force, comprised of experts in the field of infrastructure, planning, finance, legal and property management, have been holding public meetings and working with specialty consultants who have helped evaluate potential infrastructure needs at all state airports as well as business development opportunities needed to maintain self-sufficient operations and future investments. RIAC has had numerous meetings with local officials, pilots, airport stakeholders, businesses and community members in each town or city where the airports are located to discuss the future of the state airports in their communities.

Over the past 30 months, RIAC has devoted over 9,000 staff hours, held 28 public meetings, and posted 60 documents on its General Aviation Strategic Business Plan webpage. Meeting agendas, minutes, information related to the General Aviation Strategic Business Planning process and the draft plan itself can be found at https://www.pvdairport.com/corporate/general-aviation-strategic-business-plan

“RIAC is pleased to present this draft strategic business plan for public consideration and comment,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation.  “Every airport in our state is unique, just as the communities in which they are located are unique. From the very start of the General Aviation Airport Strategic Business Planning process, we have recognized that any opportunities for development require the input of local zoning and planning ordinances and the support of the community and we are pleased that community input has provided valuable guidance that has resulted in this draft plan.”

The key components of the effort is to formulate an overall strategic business plan for the state’s general aviation airports to include:

  • A Ten-Year Infrastructure (buildings) Plan including the evaluation of building conditions and priorities. The plan will identify scope, budget, schedule and possible funding sources at each airport. The plan will also consider how improved facilities could impact rental rates for current tenants.
  • A Ten-Year Pavement Plan that will evaluate and adopt a pavement management schedule.
  • An aerial survey to identify obstructions for each runway end and plan for removal.
  • A Ten-Year Business Plan to evaluate economic development conditions and opportunities at all general aviation airports. This plan will identify all available properties that can be developed for shovel ready projects

About the Rhode Island Airport CorporationThe Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) 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. RIAC 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 Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport, RIAC 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/.

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