The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) today applauded the Rhode Island General Assembly’s passage of legislation that would change the name of T. F. Green Airport to “Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport.” The legislation (2021-H.6051 and 2021-S.0519), introduced by Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) and House Speaker Pro Tempore Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) will better position Rhode Island’s main airport to support the state’s economy and tourism sector. The measure now moves to the governor’s office.
“I want to extend my gratitude to all who joined together to help secure the passage of this important legislation,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. “This was a wise decision by the leadership of both chambers of our legislature and the sponsors of the bills in the House and Senate. A geographically identifiable name will help increase enplanements in the coming years by associating a geographical location with our airport’s name. We welcome this change and we applaud our elected officials that chose to help the airlines who choose to invest in Rhode Island.”
“The airport is an economic engine for Warwick and Rhode Island and this opportunity to raise the airport’s brand awareness could attract even more domestic and international travelers to the Ocean State,” said Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey. “More passengers means more dollars spent at Warwick and Rhode Island businesses.”
“The goal of the legislation is to promote better consumer awareness of the airport’s location, along with increasing the level of passenger travel from the facility,” said Representative Brian Patrick Kennedy. “The name change will assist in marketing the state of Rhode Island to both leisure and business travelers. Currently, it’s one of only 32 airports in the country that do not have a city, state or region in the name. It’s important that we do what we can to encourage our tourism economy and bring the airport back to its pre-COVID-19 success.”
“On behalf of all at the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, I want to extend my thanks to the sponsors of this legislation, as well as the entire House and Senate leadership team who helped enact its passage,” said Jonathan N. Savage, chair of RIAC’s Board of Directors. “This name change can help better identify Rhode Island as a destination for all travelers and we are confident this measure will have a long term benefit to Rhode Island’s economy.”
Of the 376 primary mainland airports in the country as defined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – airports servicing more than 10,000 passengers annually – only 32, including T. F. Green Airport, do not have the city, region or state in its name. The proposed name change would represent the second name change for the airport. The airport was established in 1931 as Hillsgrove State Airport, becoming the first state airport in the nation. In 1938, the airport was renamed T. F. Green Airport in honor of Rhode Island Governor and Senator Theodore F. Green.
A 2018 brand awareness poll conducted by Pan Atlantic Research surveyed 1509 respondents in four separate segments, including 609 Rhode Island residents, 300 Connecticut and Massachusetts residents, 300 air travelers from major U.S. cities and 300 air travelers from Europe. The poll conducted by Pan Atlantic Research revealed low geographic name identification associated with the airport among regional, domestic and international travelers.
T. F. Green Airport was initially established in 1931 as Hillsgrove State Airport. In 1938, it was renamed T. F. Green Airport in honor of Rhode Island Governor and U.S. Senator Theodore Francis Green. Today, Green Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in the U.S. Its complement of airlines includes: Air Canada, Allegiant Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Southern Airways Express, Sun Country and United Airlines with startup airline, Breeze Airways recently announcing the selection of T. F. Green Airport as one of only 16 debut network airports.
About T. F. Green Airport: A convenient and low-cost gateway to New England, T. F. Green Airport (PVD) has a large catchment area with 7.5 million residents within 90 minutes of the airport. It attracts passengers from nearby Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut. PVD is located just outside of Providence, Rhode Island. Well known for ease of traveler access, affordable parking, and faster security lines, T. F. Green Airport was named as one of USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Best Small Airports” for 2021 as well as “Top Five” in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best 2020” Awards for Top Domestic Airports. T. F. Green was most recently named 4th “Best Airport” in the U.S. in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.