Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport – a New England Council Member- celebrated its ongoing improvement program on Monday, September 8, with a ceremony to celebrate the airport’s expansion. Nearly 100 people gathered along the airport’s runway for the event, including US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, Governor Lincoln Chafee and members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation.
After working towards an expansion for years, local, state and federal officials along with the Warwick City Council were given the go-ahead from the FAA to extend the airport’s primary runway to 8,700 feet. The longer runway will allow larger planes access to the airport, significantly expanding the destinations and travel options T.F. Green will be able to offer. Beginning next month, travelers will be able to make international connecting trips to destinations like Aruba, Cancun, Montego Bay, Nassau and Punta Cana, through NEC member Southwest Airlines. Next year, Condor Airlines will begin regular flight service from Frankfurt, Germany to T.F. Green. In addition to extending the runway, the project will expand and improve safety measures and purchase surrounding properties. The project is now underway to be completed in various phases, with construction expected to continue through the end of 2017.
“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, one of the many speakers at the ceremony. Senator Jack Reed said, “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.” Many of the other speakers echoed this sentiment.
The New England Council congratulates T.F. Green Airport and thanks them for their continued dedication to economic development within Rhode Island and the entire New England region.