As the T.F. Green Airport Improvement Program gets off the ground, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta today joined with U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Governor Lincoln Chafee, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) President and CEO Kelly Fredericks, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, and invited guests at a ceremony celebrating the on-going expansion. The event -- held along the airport’s runway -- highlighted project components completed to date and outlined future plans for continued investment in modernizing T.F. Green Airport and extending the runway to help attract new tourism, jobs, and business to Rhode Island.
After over a decade of study and work by local, state, federal officials, and the Warwick City Council, in 2011, the FAA green lit plans for T.F. Green Airport to extend the primary runway, Runway 5-23, to the south by 1,530 feet to a total length of 8,700 feet. The longer runway will allow for larger, heavier planes which could mean longer distance flights and more travel options for Ocean State travelers. Earlier this week, RIAC announced a significant milestone for the airport: beginning next summer, Condor Airlines will start regularly-scheduled seasonal service from Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) to T.F. Green Airport (PVD). And later this month, Rhode Islanders looking to make international connections will be able to book connecting international trips to places like Aruba, Cancun, Montego Bay, Nassau and Punta Cana on www.Southwest.com.
“Today’s runway extension is just the latest in a series of long-term transportation investments Rhode Island is making in its economic future, following commuter rail service to the airport and Providence’s new Rapid Bus route,” said Transportation Secretary Foxx. “These are the types of investments this Administration wants to make more of through our GROW AMERICA Act and you are a star example of what putting one eye on the future and a federal partnership can deliver together.”
“Extending the runway will open up new opportunities for tourism and job growth and help connect Rhode Islanders to more destinations. The airport is a catalyst for economic development throughout the state. Secretary Foxx and Administrator Huerta have been tremendous backers of this effort and I’m grateful for their support of these vital improvements,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who has led efforts and worked with the delegation, state officials, and the Obama Administration, to help direct an estimated $110 million in federal aviation funds to help make the T.F. Green Improvement Program possible.
Work on the project -- including safety improvements to a secondary runway, building a new de-icing facility, and the moving of ball fields -- is underway and being done in several phases. Construction on various aspects of the improvement plan will continue through December of 2017.
“Thank you to Administrator Huerta and Secretary Foxx for visiting Rhode Island and your support of infrastructure enhancements throughout our state. Through these projects, we are growing our economy and demonstrating our commitment to remaining competitive,” Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. “For all of our infrastructure work, we are always mindful of the nearby businesses and residents, and put an extra effort into ensuring that we are a considerate neighbor.”
“A world-class airport is vital for attracting new businesses and new visitors to our state,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “I thank Secretary Foxx and Administrator Huerta for joining us to celebrate these airport improvements and Senator Reed for his leadership. This project is essential for Rhode Island's continued economic development, and I am proud to support it.”
“The tourism industry, in particular food and hospitality, is a crucial element of the Rhode Island economy. As we look to grow that brand and support tourism-dependent businesses, it is essential that we have the necessary transportation infrastructure in place to accommodate increased travel in the future,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “The expansion of T.F. Green Airport has been a long time coming, and I look forward to seeing Rhode Island take its transportation hub to the next level.”
“My most important priority in Congress is doing all that I can to get Rhode Islanders back to work and to improve the Rhode Island economy. The improvement and expansion projects that are already underway at T.F. Green Airport are putting Rhode Islanders to work, enhancing the safety of the airport, and creating exciting new economic opportunities for the state, and I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues in the delegation to support these efforts," said Congressman David Cicilline. “I thank Secretary Foxx and Administrator Huerta for their commitment to improving Rhode Island’s transportation system and look forward to continuing to work with them, the entire Congressional Delegation, and state and local officials to complete this important project.”
In addition to the construction, maintenance, and administrative jobs created by the current renovation and expansion activity, the airport modernization plan will help the state be more competitive in attracting visitors and businesses in the future.
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian said, “The T. F. Green Airport expansion project will make our airport more competitive, enhance safety, bolster our tourism industry, and spur economic development throughout City Centre Warwick. I would like to thank the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, our state’s congressional delegation, our federal partners, and city officials for helping to bring us to where we stand today.”
Kelly Fredericks, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation said, “Once completed, this complex airport expansion program, comprised of a number of individual projects, will enable the airport to pursue additional air service opportunities, like the recent Condor announcement. It will also provide the necessary efficiencies to help our incumbent carriers grow and be profitable, while enhancing business development and tourism to our state.”
As part of its ongoing focus on customer experience, RIAC has added a number of new services and enhancements at T.F. Green Airport and the InterLink.
In 2012 and again in 2013, T.F. Green Airport was named one of America’s Best Airport’s by Travel + Leisure readers, ranking 1st for its accessible location and 2nd for its smooth check-in process. In recent months, the Airport launched a new ad campaign aimed at reminding travelers that Green “Keeps You Moving.”
For the latest developments and updates on the T.F. Green Airport Improvement Program, visit: http://www.pvdairport.com/corporate/construction