City council approves airport agreement
Updated: Thursday, 01 Mar 2012, 9:07 AM EST By Melissa Sardelli
- With Courtney Caligiuri
WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – The Warwick City Council has unanimously approved an agreement with T.F. Green Airport. Wednesday night’s vote could soon make the long-discussed runway expansion proposal a reality.
The conceptual agreement resulted in the city dropping its lawsuit against the FAA project.
However, there are provisions in the agreement that address the council’s concern over health and safety protections.
Last year, the FAA approved plans to extend the main runway at T.F. Green Airport, but the city challenged the approval in court, citing environmental and safety concerns.
The debate in the project also comes from residents who live near their airport who say they have been left in limbo, not knowing whether their homes would be taken over.
“It’s just been a number of years. It’s whether you make improvements to your home, delay the improvements, it’s been an on and off situation for a long time. It’s living in limbo,” said Laurie Staton, a resident who lives near the airport.
“As far as the airport and the expansion I think it’s fine. I think we need to do this for the economy of Rhode Island and I’m all for it,” said David Nye.
Just last week, President Barack Obama signed a new bill that would allow federal funds to help pave the expansion. The proposed plan would allow larger jets to land at green, clearing the way for International travel.
Rhode Island Airport Corporation will request $124 million from the FAA to make safety improvements and extend two runways.
The agreement now goes to the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. They will meet with Governor Lincoln Chafee Thursday at 10 a.m. when they’ll discuss the full details.
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