RIAC makes formal move to rename T.F. Green Airport

Passengers at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick. (WJAR File Photo)

The Rhode Island Airport Corp. said Wednesday that it will ask the General Assembly to approve changing the name of T.F. Green Airport.

RIAC said in a news release it wants the new name to be Rhode Island International Airport. It said Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi and Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey, both from Warwick, are expected to introduce the legislation Wednesday.

"It helps market the airport," Shekarchi told NBC 10 News. "It’s one of the state’s best assets and we need to continue to grow it and brand it and anything we can do to do that, I’m in favor of."

RIAC said a name change will make it easier for passengers to know where the airport is located.

"Of the 376 primary mainland airports in the country as defined by the FAA -- airports servicing more than 10,000 passengers annually -- only 32, including T.F. Green, do not have the city, region or state in its name," RIAC said.

Airport corporation official also said that airlines have been telling them that changing the name would increase traffic.

RIAC said their polling shows Rhode Islanders support a name change to Rhode Island International Airport. It said 37.4 percent support the new name, 41.5 percent are neutral, and 21 percent oppose.

NBC 10's unscientific poll on Facebook showed 81 percent said keep the name T.F. Green Airport, while 19 percent said yes, change the name.

The airport was established in 1931 as Hillsgrove State Airport. The airport was renamed in 1938 as T.F. Green Airport in honor of Theodore F. Green, who served as governor and U.S. senator.

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