Warwick, RI – The Rhode Island Airport Corporation
(RIAC) announced today that it will initiate a strategic business and master
planning process for all five of Rhode Island’s general aviation airports. This
process will include North Central State Airport, Quonset State Airport, Westerly
State Airport, Block Island State Airport and Newport State Airport.
To accomplish this
multi-year undertaking, RIAC will form an internal task force comprised of
experts in the field of infrastructure, planning, finance, legal and property
management and will also rely on consultants who will help evaluate business
development opportunities and potential infrastructure needs. Additionally,
RIAC will reach out to town managers and local officials to form committees in
each town or city where the airports are located. RIAC expects that each of
these committees would be inclusive and representative of a large number of
stakeholders including neighbors, airport tenants, community leaders, town
officials, business owners, tourism officials, members of the General Assembly
and members of the general aviation community.
committee will incorporate input from a variety of constituencies and at the
end of this process, each community will hopefully find common ground to
determine what these local airports can and should be,” said Iftikhar Ahmad,
president and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. “RIAC can support
these conversations and produce reliable data and evaluation points for local
officials to consider, but we cannot do it alone. Any and all opportunities for
development will need the support of local zoning and planning ordinances and
the support of the community.”
The RIAC task
force will work on three deliverables as key components to formulate an overall
strategic master plan that will include developing:
A Ten-Year Facilities
(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 Airfield Plan that
will evaluate and adopt a pavement management schedule.
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.
master plan once adopted will provide a predictable and equitable roadmap for
all stakeholders,” added Ahmad. “It is simply good public policy to evaluate
this situation thoughtfully and holistically.”