Big improvements coming to Rhode Island TF Green Airport
WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — Big plans are in the works for the Rhode Island TF Green International Airport as it passes its 90th anniversary.
From now to 2040, the airport corporation plans to invest $840-million into its master plan to improve a number of things. It’s all listed in the airport’s first annual to the community.
“We’re trying to improve on what we’re doing, but also not forget about what has made us one of the top airports in the nation, which is being that small town airport that people have come to love,” John Goodman, Vice President of Media Relations for the Rhode Island Airport said.
“We are prepared to expand airport amenities and expand options for airlines, have new concourses to accommodate the airlines. Over the next 20 years in our entire airport system, we expect that we may be able to invest about 1 billion dollars.”
There are 96 projects in the works including airside improvements, terminal upgrades, new technology, transportation, and safety enhancements. Plans to upgrade the terminals were already set to happen pre-COVID, but were paused when travel went down.
“We’re now beginning to move forward. You’ll see new restaurants beginning to open up here as passenger levels increase. Overall, we’re trying to do a refresh of this 25 year old terminal,” Goodman said. “Expanding the number of Dunkin Donuts is one of the things we’ve heard from our passengers as well. We’re prepared to do that.”
There are also plans to expand airline and flight options. In the past 5 years, the number of airlines has increased by 57% and the number of non-stops has increased by 47%. Just recently, the airport welcomed Breeze Airlines.
“With them, comes the potential to have direct west coast flights or even direct flights to Europe,” Goodman said.
The money invested will benefit the community – $2.7- billion dollars to be exact. In Warwick alone, residents will see perks of $528-million dollars.
With growing, comes pain. Officials are asking residents to remain patient during the transformation.
“Open communication is really our best tool in working with people,” Goodman said. “I think everyone in Warwick and around the airport does understand that this has been a great economic driver for the city and for the state.”
The improvements mean jobs for people locally, too. They estimate projects could support more than 1,000 jobs in the state of Rhode Island.