Airports get 1st portion of funds from infrastructure deal

December 18, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island airports have received the first portion of funds from the $1 trillion infrastructure deal, the state’s congressional delegation announced Friday.

U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline said the fiscal 2022 funding from the infrastructure bill totals about $9 million, which can be used to upgrade facilities and improve airport operations. The state’s airports will receive about $45 million from the bill over five years.

President Joe Biden signed his hard-fought infrastructure deal into law in November, declaring that the new infusion of cash for roads, bridges, ports and more is going to make life “change for the better” for the American people.

The bill will bring a total of more than $2.5 billion to Rhode Island to rebuild the state’s physical infrastructure, stimulate economic growth and create jobs, according to the delegation.

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Rhode Island’s main airport, T.F. Green International Airport, is getting $6.5 million of the $9 million. Westerly State Airport and Block Island State Airport are each slated to receive about $1 million. The rest is going to Quonset State Airport, North Central State Airport and Newport State Airport.

“Our airports are important economic engines for the state,” Reed said in a statement. “This infusion of federal funding will help airports improve passenger experience and accessibility, replace aging infrastructure and upgrade terminals and facilities. This is a smart investment in enhancing connectivity and creating economic opportunity.”

Langevin said that while the state has some of the best airports in the nation, they’ve been awaiting overdue renovations for years.