Warwick mayor opposes T.F. Green plan

WARWICK – The city of Warwick opposes the Federal Aviation Administration’s preferred alternative for runway expansion at T.F Green Airport.

In a statement prepared for a public hearing on the project held last night, Mayor Scott Avedisian and Warwick planning officials said the FAA’s preliminary selection ignores the city’s concerns about “flawed findings predicated on … 2004 forecasts and assumptions of service and fleet mix that are no longer valid.”

Avedisian said FAA officials want Warwick to “accept, without limit or argument, a project that would adversely affect the city, presenting unacceptable noise, air quality, socioeconomic and environmental justice issues.”

The FAA on May 26 gave preliminary support to the Rhode Island Airport Corporation’s preferred plan to extend the main runway southward and shift a shorter crosswind runway. The plan would require the FAA to acquire 11 homes and 10 businesses, with the potential to take up to 201 more homes if owners approve.

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“This is the preferred alternative because it’s the least intrusive,” Patti Goldstein, spokeswoman for RIAC, told Providence Business News.

Officials estimate that the runway repairs and property acquisitions would cost about $170 million, with 75 percent of the cost picked up by the FAA and the rest covered by RIAC revenue. The total cost, including related private expansion efforts, is projected to top $400 million.

The FAA is expected to release its draft environmental impact statement on the plan early next year and a final decision in approximately one year.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Mayor Avedisian is not known for engaging in public confrontation. He appears to avoid public argument as much as possible. The fact that he is currently engaged in a conflict with FAA, which could actually hurt his statewide appeal on some levels, is a testament to the severity of the situation in Warwick. The airport is driving our City into debt through uncompensated losses in our tax base. It is also putting our State’s finances at risk as it continues to push unpopular programs that will drive our charges to the airlines to the top of the nation. We could very well end up with an expensive runway extension at an airport that airlines will try to avoid due to high costs and overhead charges. That’s not “economic development”.

  2. With all due respect to the citizens of Warwick, TF Green airport is a such a key aspect of the economy in Rhode Island, the state and Federal governments must push this project through over local objections. If they let it fall into obsolescence, the way it was before the Sundlun Terminal was built, it would be economic suicide. In our fair state we have very little going for us economically, but a dynamic, low cost airport. As travel is required to be a part of the national economy, an airport that can only take flights from large hubs creates a handicap for out of state (or international) companies to do business here. Without a growing airport RI’s economy is DEAD.

  3. Everybody knows when they buy a house near an airport what they are getting into and anybody on this site who says otherwise is lying. The airport benefits all of rhode island including warwick and we need expansion one way or another. If you’re against expansion on any level, your just part of the problem, not the solution.

  4. With all due respect to the citizens of Warwick, TF Green Airport is a major element in the economy of the Providence Metro Area (RI and souneast MA).

    Frankly, the airport was built to serve the metro and all residents around it should have always ben aware of it and understand that Providence is a major American metro- Warwick just being a part of it.

    We must grow the airport to match the economic size and national destination that Providence is!!!
    All opposition must be overcome by the realization that major cities (Providence) have major airports. Grow up people;you do not live in a little town…this is major American metropolitan area.

  5. Perhaps the Warwick mayor would favor rerouting 95 along the 295 corridor and demolishing the existing highway because it caused a traffic nuisance. If he were governor he’d likely propose dividing Rhode Island into two halves, giving one to Connecticut and the other to Massachusetts to improve the economy. The proposed airport improvements are the absolute minimum that can be done to put economy of the Providence metro region of 1.6 million back on track.