June 21, 2023

Reed, Whitehouse & Magaziner Help Secure $2.6M for Block Island State Airport

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to enhance safety and aircraft operations at Block Island Airport, U.S. Senators Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Seth Magaziner today announced that the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) has been awarded nearly $2.6 million in federal funding for upgrades to Block Island State Airport (BID).

The state-owned airport offers a 2,500-foot runway (known as Runway 10 for planes approaching from the west, or as Runway 28 if a plane is coming in for landing from the east) and provides essential air access to the Town of New Shoreham.

The new federal funds, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) will be used to support construction of a 29,100 sq-foot terminal apron expansion to the existing 115,809 sq-foot apron. 

The apron is an essential area where planes park.  This expansion will boost the airport’s ability to host more aircraft, and additional pavement rehabilitation, markings, and new tie-down moorings will increase operational efficiency.

The project will include installation of a subsurface infiltration system and other drainage improvements to bring the facility up to standard with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).  These improvements will also strengthen the airport’s operations during peaks in tourist travel and will meet FAA standards.

Block Island State Airport offers limited commercial service along with aircraft tie-down services and parking apron support.

The airport’s tenants include New England Airlines, which provides 8-passenger commuter airline service to Westerly Airport.

“These federal airport improvement funds will help make Block Island State Airport safer and more efficient,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. “The airport is a critical link for many residents and visitors to the island.  It supports travel and commerce.  This is a needed investment in the upkeep of this essential infrastructure that will ensure the airport can meet the community’s needs for years to come.”

“Block Island State Airport meets the needs of island residents and visitors year-round,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “I am pleased to help secure this federal investment that will expand and improve key airport infrastructure and boost the island’s economy for years to come.”

“Block Island State Airport is a vital lifeline for the residents and for countless small businesses both on the Island and across our state,” said Representative Magaziner. “This $2.6 million of federal funding will make important upgrades to ensure that the airport can continue serving Rhode Islanders for years to come.”

“The Rhode Island Airport Corporation once again expresses its gratitude to Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, and Congressman Magaziner for their continued support of infrastructure improvements throughout the state airport system,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation.  “Such investments not only support local construction related jobs, but also help ensure that critical connections between communities are maintained for the foreseeable future.”

Last month, members of the delegation announced $9 million in federal funds landing at T.F. Green for key operational upgrades and planning. 

Under FAA guidelines, AIP awards may cover up to 90 percent of the cost of AIP projects, with the rest coming from state or local funds.

RIAC is a quasi-public corporation empowered to undertake the planning, development, management, acquisition, ownership, operations, repair, construction, improvement, maintenance, sale, lease, or other disposition of Rhode Island Airports: Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport, Warwick; North Central Airport, Smithfield; Quonset Airport, North Kingstown; Westerly Airport, Westerly; Newport Airport, Middletown; Block Island Airport, Block Island.

Chip Unruh (Reed), (202) 224-4642

Meaghan McCabe (Whitehouse), (202) 224-2921

James Kwon (Magaziner), (202) 951-0315

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921