Airport Officials Have High Hopes For Runway Expansion

Oct 3, 2017

T.F. Green Airport continues its push to compete with Boston’s Logan Airport and others in the region. Airport officials celebrated the opening of new runway expansion at T.F. Green Monday. The new runway is now 8700 feet long. The project culminates a $ 200-million infrastructure upgrade that began in the late 1990s.

Iftikhar Ahmad, CEO of the T.F. Green Airport Corporation said he hopes to add direct flights to the West Coast and Europe.  Potential destinations include Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

“These are the type of destinations that we need to have a longer runway for,” said Ahmad. “And also deeper side of Europe, beyond just the eastern periphery.”

Ahmad says that means cities like Paris, Oslo and Rome. Ahmad says those longer flights will involve larger aircraft, such as the Boeing 787.

“Sure would like to see 787, where the capacity is, for example if it was an international, low cost, we would probably see just under 300 people in a plane like that,” said Ahmad.

Once struggling with declining ridership, T.F. Green has nearly doubled the number of destinations it serves in the last few years. Ahmad says he doubts this latest project won’t be the last as the airport continues to grow.

“We’re actually working with airlines and if they have needs, in terms of gates or square footages inside the terminal, we’re going to continue to work on those projects,” said Ahmad.

Previous expansions at the airport drew criticism from some city officials and residents, but some people who live in Warwick today say that’s just part of life near an airport.