Small can be good. Small is even better when it is the best of the smallest.
That’s what Iftikhar Ahmad, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corp., wants Green Airport to be – the No. 1 small airport in the country.
Ahmad doesn’t need to be convinced. He’s a Green believer. But in order to secure the top ranking in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards, other believers need to cast their votes in the next six days. Of the 17 airports nominated for the online runoff, Green was ranked first as of Monday, but that could change. The 10Best ranking will be announced Friday, Jan. 24.
So, this is just for bragging rights? Topping it off, you can vote every day of the contest, so is this really legit?
That’s not the way Ahmad sees it. The best of the nation’s small airports is more than a tag line to be added to promotional material. It’s a means of rallying Rhode Islanders – standing up to the other airports and a display of pride in an amenity that is convenient and accessible.
Ahmad is calling on the region to vote for Green, as the airport serves residents from beyond the state’s borders.
“It’s important to win because it would highlight the airport and the state,” Ahmad said. He sees the “best” designation as impacting traffic that could translate into increased demand with the airlines increasing service and adding destinations. Bottom line, as he sees it, are more jobs and a stronger economy.
Nationwide, Ahmad said, there are about 500 airports. Of those, he said there are 30 large hub airports like Newark, Atlanta and Dallas, to name three. He didn’t know how Green was nominated as one of 17 for the 10Best award. But now that it is in the running, he doesn’t want to let the honor slip away.
The link to the contest is being carried on RIAC social media and voting is being promoted in advertising. You can vote by clicking here.
Other airports in the running are Westchester County in New York; Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National in Kansas; Waco Regional in Texas; Richmond International in Virginia; Savannah/Hilton Head International in Georgia; Piedmont Triad International in North Carolina; Paine Field in Washington State; Manchester-Boston Regional in New Hampshire; Long Island MacArthur; Long Beach in California; Kahului in Hawaii; Indianapolis International in Indiana; Huntsville International in Alabama; Daytona Beach International in Florida; Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International; Charleston International in South Carolina; Blue Grass in Kentucky; Bellingham International in Washington State; and Bangor International in Maine.