Quonset Point may have closed down nearly four decades ago, but planes are still flying in and out of the former naval base. Wednesday night marked the open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Providence Jet Center, formerly known as the .
AvPORTS, which took over operations of the Quonset airport along with the state’s other four smaller airports from Landmark Aviation in July, is looking to provide a much different experience for pilots, crews and passengers than before.
“From the time you taxi up, someone will be waiting there to help you,” said Darren Betters, transitional manager with AvPORTS.
The airport infuses concierge service into its customer service, ranging from arranging catering, car rentals, limousines, lodging and more.
“Probably whatever you ask us to do we’ve already done it,” said Betters.
For the past few years, the Quonset airport has operated out of a new 40,000 square foot building adjacent to the old airport. Currently, the airport uses the old, World War II era control tower. A new control tower is under construction and is expected to be completed soon. The new facility also hosts a heated hangar, able to accommodate aircrafts as large as a Gulfstream V.
Though the airport sees as many as 30 or 40 crafts come across the tarmac on a given day, Providence Jet Center is looking to attract more pilots and private jet owners.
“There are no commercial jets here and no delays, unlike T.F. Green [Airport],” said Betters. “You’re not sitting out there on the runway for an hour waiting to take off.”
Quonset also has the bragging rights as it hosts the longest runway in the state with a length of 8,000 ft., almost 1,000 feet longer than T.F. Green.