Air cargo & passengers a bad mix at Green Airport

Posted 4/13/23

To the Editor,

Our Loop de Loop Nightmare.

Here we go, loop de looping around the T. F. Green International Airport passenger terminal, dropping off our kids bound for distant destinations as a …

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Air cargo & passengers a bad mix at Green Airport


To the Editor,

Our Loop de Loop Nightmare.

Here we go, loop de looping around the T. F. Green International Airport passenger terminal, dropping off our kids bound for distant destinations as a hint of dawn glimmers on the horizon.

Goodbyes are bittersweet. Weary-eyed, we are on the departing upper loop going around and around, and now down to the short-term crosswalk on the lower arrivals level. We're heading toward Garage C, the turn to Post Road and our Warwick home, where we'll return to our pre-dawn sleep.

But whoa! A big brown truck, a United Parcel Service 53-foot semi, is merging with us. Approaching the crosswalks, we can’t see around the truck. Where did that come from?

Joining in the fun, folks from the Cape, having picked up their friends at the arrivals/luggage area, are now wondering how they've found themselves merging on a haul road with giant Mack trucks, their bulldog chrome front ends ruling the road. They thought they were at a passenger terminal.

The Cape Codders try to anticipate the truck's next move.  Need to watch out! They must cross to the left to get to I-95 just as the truck is trying to get to Post Road, crossing to the right. That trip back to the Cape may be off to a bad start.

We might want to revise our thinking: maybe Boston's Logan is a safer airport. We thought T. F. Green was the ultimate in friendliness, convenient and safe. "Nevermore," squawks the RIAC raven, surveying the scene from overhead.

According to RIAC, air cargo eCommerce trucks will need to plow right through the passenger terminal.   They'll have no choice, they say, because FedEx wants to relocate some of its Boston suburb operations to Green.   It has allocated $70 million to build a new terminal off Strawberry Field Road that will service Dedham, Braintree, and Quincy.

The Environmental Assessment shows this to be a sorting factory. Peak operations -- all night long. In any case, the trucks need to keep moving.

But the Environmental Assessment also notes that nobody has the money to build a proper road to this sorting mill. The public/private partnership ends at the loading dock. No one can pay for a proper haul road. RIAC and the Mayor have apparently given little thought to the dangers of sending semis through the passenger terminal arrival road cutting across to Post Road, as car drivers try to cross the other way to get onto I-95.

The State Freight Plan, which RIAC helped draft, is clear. It sets the rules on how grants are to be approved by federal agencies such as the FAA.  It says:

“The (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) provides grants to public agencies and, occasionally to private owners.… Projects related to airport operations and revenue-generating improvements are typically not eligible for funding (FAA 2015).”   (Page 221)

The proposed air cargo facility is a private revenue-generating “improvement.” No federal funding.

So, the Mayor has asked RIAC to use its own money to build a useless noise berm to protect neighbors -- neighbors who live too far from the berm for it to work.  Their vision of semis driving through the terminal and merging with millions of passengers arriving at Green, continues to tempt fate.

This is an extreme example of government waste and abuse, subjecting us all to danger on that loop de loop. The FAA spent $200,000 studying this problem. Their answer: Build a new haul road to avoid the passenger terminal. RIAC refuses to accept that recommendation.

Anyone can see that the solution is to keep the air cargo operation where it is, in the industrial zone of Airport Road. The Environmental Assessment shows that there is room to build it there. A facility there would totally meet the need.

But RIAC prefers to locate an expandable air cargo hub right in the middle of the Strawberry Fields residential area. One that never sleeps, and with more and more operations as eCommerce people and RIAC pump up their respective marketing efforts. Meanwhile, more and more big brown UPS trucks roar right through the passenger terminal.

It is time for UPS, FedEx, the Mayor, Mr. Howe (who is said to be looking out for us on the City Council), as well as our reps and senators, the FAA, and all the rest of us to "just say no."  Please check our Facebook group, “T F Green Noise and Cargo Hub,” for details. And join us at the Sawtooth (AAA) Building on April 20, 2023, with your questions and ideas.

Richard Langseth


letter, air, cargo


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  • latitude41

    A "hub"? Please. No more hyperbole and exaggeration. First they don't operate "hubs" way in the corner of the country at a secondary city. Also do the people from Cape Cod not know how to drive with the tractor trailers "going into the terminal"? Today's state of the art tractor makes far less noise than they used to and pollute much less in any case. We should be far more aggravated with the constant din of motorcycles and sirens throughout Warwick.

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