WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) - The Federal Aviation Administration is tentatively backing aproposal to expandthe main runway at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick to the south,on the Main Ave. side of the runway.
The agency announced its support of the plan as its preferredalternative Tuesday morning. However, it's final approval won'tcome until it makes a record of decision, which according toairport spokeswoman Patti Goldstein, won't come until nextyear.
Officials from the RhodeIsland Airport Corporation said extending the runway to thesouth would have less of an impact on the city and its residents,while meeting the safety and operational needs of the airport. TheFAA was considering two other expansion plans, both would extendthe runway to the north - toward Airport Rd.
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian has opposed past expansion plans
and said he still has questions about the currentproposal.
The Preferred Plan
The proposed plan would lengthen runway 5-23 by about 1,600feet, for a total of 8,700 feet and would allow for non-stop westcoast flights.
To accommodate the expansion, airport officials said Main Ave.would need to be shifted to the south, around the expanded runway.Eleven homes and 10 businesses would be affected by mandatoryacquisition. An additional 134 homes could be eligible foracquisition due to noise impact and another 67 homes and 1 businessin the runway protection zone could also be taken.
The other two plans would have required the acquisition of 97homes/45 businesses and 69 homes/42 businesses respectively andanother 211 or 97 homes due to noise.
Airport officials also said the two other plans would have amore substantial impact on area wetlands.
Airport Rd. Impact
The proposed plan would also shift runway 16-34 north, about 100feet. According to airport officials, this would require therelocation of Airport Rd. at the intersection of Post Rd. andAirport Rd.
The work, according to the FAA, would be done in phases and maybe completed by 2015.
The FAA is holding a public information meeting June 3 from 6p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.
During the meeting, officials are expected to have displayboards with updates on the EnvironmentalImpact Statement regarding the preferred expansion plan.
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