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8/20/2019 Sen. Bell calls for performance review of RI Airport Corporation management after Norwegian Air eliminates flights out of T.F. Green Airport
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Samuel W. Bell (D-Dist. 5, Providence) is calling for a performance review of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation management team after the recent announcement that Norwegian Air will be cutting service from the airport after only two years of operation.

“Norwegian Air leaving T.F. Green after only two years of operations raises further questions about the choices made by the Airport Corporation management team.  The Airport Corporation spent more than $2 million to advertise for Norwegian Air, and now those jobs are disappearing after only two years,” said Senator Bell.  “At the time, Hillary Clinton had taken the extraordinary step of calling for not letting this airline operate in our country because of their exceptionally poor labor practices.  I believe that Hillary Clinton was right, and we should have listened to her warnings about this unscrupulous corporation.”

“The Norwegian Airlines debacle follows the collapse of the Dominican Republic route from Sun Country Airlines before a single plane took off from T.F. Green.  Like Norwegian, Sun Country is a controversial airline, and these problems were predictable.  At the time the agreement with T.F. Green began, Sun Country was reeling from an international flight cancelation scandal where hundreds of passengers were stranded in Mexico with no way to return to Minnesota.   The extensive cutting of routes by more reputable airlines like Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines raises yet more questions about the Airport Corporation’s management performance.  Furthermore, financial problems have led to attempts to raise revenue through high fees on ride-sharing corporations like Uber and Lyft, resulting in disruptions to these services and significant inconveniences for many airport visitors.  These problems are serious.  I have significant doubts about the way the Airport Corporation management is operating T.F. Green, and I believe a management performance review is warranted,” continued Senator Bell.

Bell went on to praise the Raimondo administration’s approach to management performance.  “The Raimondo administration has consistently demonstrated a commitment to management performance at agencies, boards, and commissions.  For instance, the actions that this administration took at the Board of Elections, at the Governor’s direction, to appoint reformers and address management performance issues have been essential in reforming and professionalizing our elections management.  I believe that it is time for the Governor’s office to examine the performance of the Airport Corporation management and take the action steps that follow from that review,” said Senator Bell.

“I have neighbors who have lost their jobs, and airport visitors are continuously frustrated, whether by the disruption to ride-sharing services or by highly publicized routes being eliminated shortly after being introduced.  It is evident that T.F. Green is experiencing several problems.  I hope that a review of management performance will help lead to reforms and improved outcomes,” concluded Senator Bell.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903