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6/4/2024 House passes McNamara bill to give Warwick representation on R.I. Airport Corporation board
STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) that would require Warwick representation on the Rhode Island Airport Corporation Board of Directors.

The bill (2024-H 7069) would require that one of the seven directors of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation be appointed by the mayor of Warwick with the advice and consent of the Rhode Island Senate.

“As the major airport in the state, the decisions relating to T.F. Green that are made by the Airport Corporation have a disproportionate impact on the city of Warwick,” said Representative McNamara. “That’s why state law requires the city to receive an annual reimbursement from the corporation for municipal services. Having one member of the board of directors appointed by the mayor would assure that the city’s interests are properly reconciled during the corporation’s decision-making process.”

The Rhode Island Airport Corporation was formed in 1992 in order to operate and maintain the state’s airport system, including Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport. The corporation is made up of seven members who are currently appointed by the governor. 

“The city of Warwick has been a patient and understanding host of the airport for more than 90 years,” said Speaker of the House K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick), who cosponsored the legislation. “The annual reimbursement Warwick receives for municipal services doesn’t begin to compensate the city for everything it does for T.F. Green. This bill would ensure that a strong voice for the city is represented on the board, so Warwick’s interests will always be taken into consideration on issues that could potentially have a big impact on the city.”

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. In 2021, the General Assembly voted to rename it the Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport. The change was 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 measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2024-S 2886) has been introduced by Sen. Mark P. McKenney (D-Dist. 30, Warwick).

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903