Warwick, RI – This morning the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) along with Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Rhode Island’s entire federal delegation celebrated the completion of the runway extension project, which lengthened (1534 feet) the airport’s main runway to 8,700 feet. Planning for the project began in 1999 and included a multitude of projects that made the extension possible. The celebration drew over 100 attendees and included Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta, Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian along with other dignitaries and tourism officials.
“The vision for this project began almost two decades ago and it is not possible to thank everyone who made this significant accomplishment happen. Airports can only compete if they continue to invest in their infrastructure. The airport is now more marketable, safer and better prepared for the airplanes of the future,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, president and CEO of RIAC.
“The airport is a great asset and a key piston in the state’s economic engine. I am proud to have delivered federal funds to make these improvements. In addition to new air service and increased travel options, this extended runway is expanding opportunities for the state to attract new business and investment. I think Rhode Island is very well positioned to compete now and in the long-term,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD), who helped direct roughly $110 million in federal funding to extend the runway and modernize the airport. “There was a lot of hard work, and some turbulence in getting to this point, but it is great to see this forward looking investment cleared for takeoff.”
The extension project was part of the nearly $250M Airport Improvement Program implemented at T.F Green Airport. This was a multi-year effort, planning began in 1999 and construction on Runway 5-23 began in 2013. The Airport Improvement Program included the following projects:
The extension of Runway 5-23; relocation of Winslow Park; relocation of Main Avenue; a residential acquisition program; removal of obstructions on Runway 5-23; safety area improvements to Runway 16-34; demolition of Hangar 1; a residential sound insulation program, and construction of a Glycol facility.
The improvement program represented a highly collaborative partnership with several key stakeholders including Rhode Island’s Federal delegation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the State of Rhode Island, the City of Warwick and its residents, the employees of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, labor leaders and T.F. Green’s airline partners.
Six trade unions were involved in the Airport Improvement Program with an excess of 120,500 construction man-hours spent on the Runway 5 expansion program alone.
“No one has worked harder than Senator Reed to make this runway expansion happen,” said Senator Whitehouse. “Thanks to Senator Reed’s vision, the more than $100-million federal investment at T.F. Green has made Rhode Island a more attractive place to visit and do business. It has improved the quality of life for Rhode Islanders who no longer have to go to Boston for direct flights to many cities, including international destinations.”
“I’m thrilled to see the runway expansion at T.F. Green Airport completed,” said Congressman Langevin. “This project marks a new chapter for air transportation in Rhode Island and will boost economic opportunity while allowing more visitors to discover our beautiful state. Thank you to RIAC and everyone involved in the project for your many years of planning and execution that will help continue to grow our airport.”
“Without a doubt, these renovations will help make our state a more prosperous and attractive place for folks to live and work,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “It’s going to mean more visitors coming to our state, more good-paying jobs for hardworking Rhode Islanders, and greater long-term economic activity that benefits all of us. It will make it easier for Rhode Islanders to travel across the country and around the world to visit family, go on vacation or do business. I am glad that federal dollars made this project happen, and I am committed to securing additional resources to enable us to continue to invest in our infrastructure.”
“At the Federal Aviation Administration, we strongly believe that airports are a vital part of America’s infrastructure,” said Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta. “This runway extension will mean more choice and convenience for passengers. Instead of driving to an airport in another state, Rhode Islanders can take advantage of more flight options closer to home.”
“As we all know, the discussion of runway expansion was a topic that was hotly debated for more than a decade,” said Mayor Scott Avedisian. “To get to where we are today – finding a balance between the needs of those who live and work in Warwick with RIAC’s desire to expand – took years of negotiation, compromise and effort among many people who remained steadfast in their desire to find a mutually-acceptable solution. Today, with the safety enhancements and runway expansion complete, we look forward to continued partnership with RIAC and other stakeholders to ensure that T.F. Green Airport remains a top-rated airport, and a driver to help grow our local business economy with its proximity to City Centre Warwick.”
President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio said, “The runway extension is enabling T.F. Green to really take off. They are attracting new airlines and flying to new destinations, and they are positioned to accommodate the modern planes of the future. This is an effective tool for economic growth made possible through strong collaboration among the federal, state and local levels of government, and partnership with the private sector.”
“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this effort, particularly former board members and chairs who kept this vital project moving forward,” said Jonathan Savage, chairman of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. “Together we have made an investment in the economy of the State of Rhode Island that will pay dividends for decades to come.”
– About T.F. Green –
Green (PVD), located 8 miles south of Providence in Warwick, Rhode Island, is the 3rd largest airport in New England, with a catchment area that attracts passengers from nearby Massachusetts and southeastern Connecticut. Almost two-thirds (64%) of New England’s population lives within 75 miles of Green, and 25% of the US population lives within 500 miles of PVD.
Airlines serving Green: Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, OneJet, Southwest and United. International service includes TACV, which flies year round from PVD to Cabo Verde; Norwegian Airlines, with service to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, (Martinique and Guadeloupe to begin in October) and Azores Airlines with seasonal service to Ponta Delgada and beyond. Cargo carriers, Fed Ex and UPS, round out the service. MBTA commuter rail service connects PVD to Boston. Visit www.pvdairport.com.