By Steve Klamkin | WPRO News
The Federal Aviation Administration Friday enters the final, 30-day public comment period for its reevaluation of the years-long plans to expand the runways and make other improvements to T.F. Green State Airport in Warwick.
The FAA said in a statement that it is reevaluating the Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the Green project, including modifications to the main runway that "will enhance safety at a lower cost and with fewer environmental impacts."
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian welcomed the changes, first announced last August by the FAA.
"We all knew that there was an issue on safety, and in order to have a safe airport, they were looking for more space for an overrun area. This is a logical alternative to that," he said.
The FAA is considering construction of a buffer zone built of crushable concrete, which would have the same effect as lengthening the runway, without the need to expand beyond the airport's existing footprint, and 'taking' of Airport Road and changes to Post Road.
"We're very happy to keep the 12 businesses that would have otherwise been taken from the city," said Avedisian.
Draft documents of the FAA review are available at public libraries in Warwick, and at the FAA's website. The FAA says its comment period extends 30 days from December 7, 2012.