PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The renaming of T.F. Green Airport is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The R.I. General Assembly approved legislation that would rename the airport to the “Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport.”
Lawmakers have considered renaming the state’s airport for years, but the pandemic’s impact on the travel industry has renewed their efforts.
The bill’s sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey, said renaming the airport would improve its identity.
“The airport is an economic engine for Warwick and Rhode Island and this opportunity to raise the airport’s brand awareness could attract even more domestic and international travelers to the Ocean State,” McCaffrey said. “More passengers means more dollars spent at Warwick and Rhode Island businesses.”
The airport is currently named after former Governor and U.S. Senator Theodore Francis Green.
In the past, some lawmakers expressed concern with taking T.F. Green out of the airport’s name because of his historical significance.
But airport executives argue this bill will increase awareness of the state’s main airport to travelers both domestic and international while also continuing to honor T.F. Green.
“The goal of the legislation is to promote better consumer awareness of the airport’s location, along with increasing the level of passenger travel from the facility,” Kennedy explained. “The name change will assist in marketing the state of Rhode Island to both leisure and business travelers.”
Kennedy hopes the renaming of the airport will “bring the airport back to its pre-COVID-19 success.”
The bill now heads to Gov. Dan McKee’s desk for his signature.