A long-time Warwick resident, Albert Tavani is credited with bringing the state airport system from its infancy in the 1940s to the full-service network that now exists.
When he retired at the end of 1977, Green Airport was greatly expanded, numerous airlines were serving Rhode Island, and there were five state airports in addition to Green. Tavani, a pilot since 1931, earned his commercial rating in 1938 and became legal adviser to the Division of Aeronautics in 1939. He became a Navy flight instructor in 1942, and in 1945 he was assigned to Torpedo Squadron 150 aboard USS Lake Champlain at NAS Quonset Point. He was on the ship’s shakedown cruise when the war ended. After his discharge he was appointed assistant administrator of aeronautics, and the following year he was named administrator by then-Governor John Pastore.
He was a visionary, making recommendations in the 1960s that prove their worth today. He was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 1982 for his “untiring efforts to keep Rhode Island in step with the developing air age.”
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