RI Delegation Helps Land Another $7.3M for Airport Upgrades

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced that the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) has been awarded over $7.3 million in federal funding for upgrades to Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport and Quonset State Airport. 

The Congressional delegation helped land the federal U.S. Department of Transportation grants, which will be administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support renovations, safety upgrades, and runway protection at Rhode Island’s two largest airports. 

Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport is receiving an infusion of nearly $5 million in federal funding, including:

  • $1.9 million to improve/modify/rehabilitate the terminal building, including updating the public address system
  • $1.8 million for security enhancements
  • $926,858 for design work to upgrade 3,000 feet of taxiway reconstruction
  • $315,000 for runway protection zone land

Quonset State Airport is receiving $2,349,359 toward reconstructing the main runway.  Quonset Airport is a joint use (civil, military, public) airport. It is the second-largest public-use airport in the state, serves as the home of Quonset Point Air National Guard Station and the 143rd Airlift Wing of the Rhode Island Air National Guard.  Aircraft of all sizes use the general aviation facility - from hulking C-130Js to small, private planes - and the airport helps attract business travelers and tourism to the area.

“As our economy grows and we attract more visitors, businesses, and military assets to the state, we need to plan for the future, and this federal funding delivers much needed investment in making our airports safer, more efficient, and sustainable” said Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “Both airports serve as important links in our transportation network.  Improving the facilities, repairing the runway, and securing the runway protection zone are all critical to landing more flights and helping business and tourism take off.  This federal funding will ensure Rhode Island can compete and our regional airports can safely and effectively serve communities throughout the state.”

“The airports are major drivers of Rhode Island’s economy,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “The delegation is pleased to deliver more funding for upgrades at T.F. Green and Quonset Airport to make flying in and out of the Ocean State even safer and more convenient.”

“Rhode Islanders depend on our local airports, which are among the most passenger-friendly in the nation,” said Congressman Langevin. “I’m proud to deliver this crucial federal funding, which will make sure that our state’s airports remain safe, convenient places to travel for Rhode Islanders and visitors.”

“Our airports welcome people to Rhode Island, and we should be putting our best foot forward,” said Congressman Cicilline. “This funding will modernize Rhode Island T.F Green International Airport and Quonset State Airport with safety, efficiency, and sustainability upgrades that will help our local businesses, make travel easier for Rhode Islanders, and boost our tourism industry.”

“On behalf of RIAC, we are truly thankful for the tireless work of Senator Reed and the state’s congressional delegation in securing critical airport funding,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. “This federal funding will help promote our state’s economic security at Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport as well as our national security with vital investments at Quonset State Airport.”

These federal grants are funded by the fiscal year 2022 Appropriations Omnibus law. 

In addition to this funding, Rhode Island airports will also be receiving over $9 million in additional funds under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58). The state’s airports will receive an estimated $45 million from the law over five years, as well as annual appropriations.

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