To the Editor,
Build it and they will come. From all over the world. Noisy, stinky, carcinogenic cargo jets. Right to the proposed T.F. Green International Freight Port and I-95 Gateway Amazon …
To the Editor,
Build it and they will come. From all over the world. Noisy, stinky, carcinogenic cargo jets. Right to the proposed T.F. Green International Freight Port and I-95 Gateway Amazon Processing Facility in the cornfield off Airport Road.
In the Field of Dreams movie, Kevin Costner waited for his ghostly ballplayers to come out of the cornfield. In Warwick, at the RIAC-proposed International Freight Port, giant Boeing 767s will roar in day and night and, coming and going, wake up the neighbors. Trailer trucks will grind over to the cornfield to feed the big Amazon warehouse with air freight. That's our field of dreams!
This scenario is the dream of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) executives, wanting to make Warwick the air freight hub of New England and beyond. For Amazon and freight forwarders around the world.
The RIAC air freight hub is so secret that the environmental firm engaged to evaluate the proposed $100 million, 20-truck bay -- a two football-field-long facility -- has been instructed by RIAC to claim that the air hub will be serviced by the same two jet planes per day that are currently offloaded out in the open by Airport Road. Just those two planes. No new flights, according to RIAC.
This "no new planes" deception is a strategy that some consultants advise airports to use so that they may trick the community and avoid an Environmental Impact Study, or EIS. It is hogwash. You don’t spend $100 million of public funds on an international jet port with a plan to barely use it. If no new planes come, the $100 million is blown for nothing. That's what RIAC wants us to believe.
RIAC needs to step up to the Field of Dreams plate and swing at real freight jets – real Boeing 767s, howling in from all over to fill the I-95 Gateway Amazon facility. Tell us the real story -- not the dream.
Why do I care? Because this is just step one in RIAC’s 20-year plan to come out as a leading air freight hub. Start by tricking the people into thinking that an EIS is not needed. RIAC claims there won’t be any new freight flights taking off for Europe or the West Coast, rattling your windows in the dead of night. The RIAC "suits" say that there won’t be any additional jet fumes or trailer truck pollution gagging the neighbors.
During the hard-fought EIS project, with a 2010 recommendation for a runway now built, not currently used for the expected European or West Coast flights, RIAC management never misled us. They really thought airlines would thrive here offering long-haul passenger service. That fizzled out. Now we are facing the specter of an international jet port for freight.
Now they are craftily telling us, “Don’t worry. We are just building this international freight port because the money is there. No new planes will use it. That field of dreams in the cornfield, the Amazon warehouse -- ignore it.”
I don’t mind hearing and seeing an occasional Southwest, Frontier, or Breeze jet taking off to grandchildren’s towns, or taking my neighbors to Disney World. But I do mind transforming T.F. Green into a bustling air freight facility for Amazon that runs night and day, while attempting to hide all of this hub bub. That may be RIAC's dream, but for citizens of Warwick it is a nightmare.
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