WARWICK, RI – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies (T-HUD), announced a new $30 million Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant to the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) for safety and efficiency improvements at T.F. Green Airport.
RIAC will use the federal funds to rehabilitate and upgrade important runway and taxiway infrastructure at T.F. Green Airport.
“T.F. Green Airport is an important economic engine for Rhode Island and these federal funds will ensure it has the modern aviation infrastructure to help reach new heights and even more destinations. This grant will literally help pave the way for a safer, smoother runway and a more efficient airfield,” said Senator Reed, who has helped direct over $200 million in federal funds over the last decade to make capital improvements to the airport.
The federal funds will be used to help complete reconstruction of remaining portion of Runway 16-34, relocation of Taxiway C (east of Runway 5-23), and extension/reconstruction of Taxiway B (between 16-34 and C).
“I want to thank Senator Reed and the entire federal delegation for their continued advocacy of T.F. Green Airport. It is critical that we continue to invest our infrastructure and this grant allows us to do just that. Investments like this also allow us to be competitive in this region. In short, investing in our infrastructure is an investment in Rhode Island’s economy,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation.
In 2017, RIAC completed an FAA-funded, 1,534-foot extension of T.F Green’s main runway, opening the airport to more non-stop flights from more distant locations. The pavement surfaces and taxiways identified under this project are beyond the 20-year life cycle and in need of rehabilitation to address degradation and to meet today’s standards and performance requirements.
Funding for this project was made possible due to Senator Reed’s effort to provide an additional $1 billion in airport improvement funding in the fiscal year 2018 transportation funding bill. Those investments were targeted to help medium and small hub airports like T.F. Green.
AIP funding is distributed annually based on activity levels and project needs; however, the FAA can provide additional discretionary funding such as this if the airports' capital projects exceed their available entitlement funds. Reed noted that Rhode Island is getting the largest Airport Improvement Program supplemental grant in the country this year.
RIAC plans to begin the procurement process with a request for quotation (RFQ) for design services as soon as it receives the federal AIP funds. It projects to approve and execute the grant in 2020 and begin construction in early 2021.