WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — T.F. Green Airport has officially completed its runway expansion project.
The longer runway, which was extended by 1,534 feet, which is an addition to the runways 8,700 feet. The expanded runway is meant to accommodate larger planes and add more non-stop flights.
“The vision for this project began almost two decades ago and it is not possible to thank everyone who made this significant accomplishment happen,” Ifikhar Ahmad, President and CEO of Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) said. “Airports can only compete if they continue to invest in their infrastructure. The airport is now more marketable, safer and better prepared for the airplanes of the future.”
The extension project was part of a $250 million Airport Improvement Program that was implemented at T.F. Green. The planning began in 1999 and the construction of the runway began in 2013, according to RIAC.
In 2011, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the expansion plan, but it was met with opposition by residents living near the airport.
A series of public hearings and federal appropriation of $110 million paved the way for the project to proceed.
“At the Federal Aviation Administration, we strongly believe that airports are a vital part of America’s infrastructure,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “This runway extension will mean more choice and convenience for passengers. Instead of driving to an airport in another state, Rhode Islanders can take advantage of more flight options closer to home.”
Several elected officials, including Gov. Gina Raimondo, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed were at the airport Monday to celebrate.