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Our History

About the Rhode Island Airport Corporation

Welcome to the official website for the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) and Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport (PVD). Using this site, you’ll be able to learn about the history of Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport, search the airport’s flight guide, check real-time flight status for arrivals and departures, view our plans for the future and much more.

RIAC is responsible for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the six state-owned airports and the supervision of all civil airports, landing areas, navigation facilities, air schools and flying clubs. In addition to Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport, RIAC is responsible for five general aviation airports throughout the state: Block Island, Quonset, North Central, Newport and Westerly

Our History

The Rhode Island Airport Corporation was formed on December 9, 1992, as a semi-autonomous subsidiary of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to operate and maintain the state’s airport system. The powers of the corporation are vested in its seven-member board of directors, all of whom are appointed by the governor.

RIAC’s primary mission, and that of Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport, is to provide Rhode Island and Southern New England with meaningful connections to the nation and world. Learn more about the Rhode Island Airport Corporation’s 90-year history below.

1931
Now
1931
Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport was originally founded as Hillsgrove State Airport, and was the first state-owned and operated airport in the U.S. The commencement air shows draw over 150,000 people—the largest crowd that had attended a public function in the country until that time.
1933
The airport’s original Terminal Building was the first public building in Rhode Island built in the Art Deco style.
1938
The airport is renamed Theodore Francis Green State Airport in honor of Green, who served as Rhode Island’s Governor and U.S. Senator.
1939
The Rhode Island National Guard moves to the airport and begins anti-submarine patrols to protect coastal shipping and convoys.
1942
The First Army Air Force takes control of the airport as a fighter and training base. In 1945, airport control is returned to the state.
1950
Air traffic reaches record levels, with 120,000 passengers and 4 million pounds of cargo.
1961
Construction of a new airport terminal is completed to accommodate larger jets.
1986
Pan Am starts service to New York from PVD.
1993
The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC), a quasipublic agency and division of Commerce Corporation, becomes the administrator and operator of the airport.
1996
Southwest starts service at PVD with nonstop service to Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Nashville, Orlando, and Tampa. Southwest is presently PVD’s largest airline.
2010
The InterLink Transportation Hub opens, along with a rental car facility and MBTA commuter rail service.
2014
Ground is broken for a federally funded Runway Expansion Project, expanding the runway by 1,534 feet.
Frontier Airlines Logo
2017
Frontier Airlines starts service at PVD, with nonstop flights to Charlotte, NC, Fort Myers, FL, Miami, FL, New Orleans, LA, Tampa, FL, and Raleigh, NC.
2018
PVD is listed as one of the fastest-growing airports in the U.S. and reaches all-time highs for routes, recruiting nine additional airlines and adding 27 nonstop routes.
2019
Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport lands an approximately $25 million grant for airport improvements. Senator Jack Reed helps secure the funding.
Southern Airways Express Logo
2019
Southern Airways Express starts service to PVD, with nonstop flights to Nantucket, MA.
2021
Legislation approves an airport name change to the Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport, to increase brand recognition and support statewide tourism and economic development.
2021
On September 27, Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport celebrates its 90th anniversary.
1932
Hillsgrove State Airport sponsored an “Air Pageant,” which included appearances by famous early pilots Jimmy Wedell, Russell Boardman, and Capt. Fred Williams.
1935
The construction of concrete runways began along with installation of a two-way radio station, a federally designated airway double-light beacon for night flyers, and a radio beam navigation system, the only one in New England at the time.
1938
State Hangar 1 was built to store and maintain aircraft, as well as a control tower and administrative offices. The space was leased to tenants, creating a revenue stream for the airport.
1941
Hangar 2 is constructed to provide needed hangar space for the Rhode Island National Guard unit stationed at Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport. Designed in the Moderne style, the building continued the use of forward-looking architectural trends associated with the speedy, futuristic mode of travel.
1946
Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport re-opens for civilian use on March 1.
1958
Rhode Island receives a grant of $150,000 for construction of a control tower and fire station, Warwick Ladder 8.
1978
The State of Rhode Island releases the first draft of its updated Master Plan—which represents the official policy regarding present and future use of Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport.
Delta Air Lines Logo
1990
Delta starts service at PVD, with nonstop service to Atlanta, GA, and Bangor, ME.
1996
A major airport expansion includes the development of the Bruce Sundlun Terminal Building, additional parking, and four more gates at the North Concourse.
2005
Annual passenger traffic reaches 5.7 million travelers.
jetBlue Logo
2013
JetBlue has its inaugural flight in November to Orlando.
2017
Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport becomes the Official Airport of the New England Patriots. Runway 5-23 is opened for use at a length of 8,700 feet to enable longer-range nonstop flights and enhanced safety.
Allegiant Airlines Logo
2017
Allegiant Airlines starts service at PVD, with nonstop service to Punta Gorda Airport, FL, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, FL, and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, KY.
Air Canada Logo
2018
AIr Canada starts service at PVD with nonstop service to Toronto, Canada.
Sun Country Airlines Logo
2019
Sun Country Airlines starts service to PVD, with nonstop service to Nashville, TN, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.
2020
PVD is ranked a top-five best small airport in the U.S. by three major travel publications, USA Today, Travel + Leisure, and Condé Nast Traveler.
Breeze Airlines Logo
2021
PVD is chosen to serve as one of Breeze Airway’s inaugural airports. Breeze Airways offers service four times a week between PVD and Charleston, SC (CHS); Norfolk, VA (ORF), and Pittsburgh, PA (PIT).

We Have a Bright Future Ahead

RIAC is proud to serve Rhode Island and the New England region. Because of you, we have a bright future ahead. We hope the information on this website will help you enjoy a comfortable, hassle-free travel experience. We’d like to hear your feedback on how we can further improve. Please email us through the Contact Us section. If you’d like updates on new service, airport updates or business development, please submit your email address to receive our e-newsletter.

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