The General Assembly Tuesday passed legislation (2021-S 0519, 2021-H 6051) introduced by Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) and House Speaker Pro Tempore Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) that would rename the state airport “Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport.”
“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 McCaffrey. “More passengers means more dollars spent at Warwick and Rhode Island businesses.”
The change has been touted by airport executives as a way to increase awareness of Rhode Island’s main airport to domestic and international travelers and more accurately reflect the changing complexion of the airport while continuing to honor the memory of T.F. Green.
“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 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.”
The airport was 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.
The startup airline, Breeze Airways, announced last week that it would begin flights from the airport in June and July.