Hamoa Airport (Old Hana Airport)

The original Hana Airport was a small grass field located at Hamoa.  It was served by Inter-Island Airways with eight-passenger amphibians from May 1935 to the start of World War II.

Further aviation developments brought the use of 16-passenger amphibians and 24-passenger land planes, which were too big to use the field.  Scheduled service was discontinued and the entire Hana area fell victim to technological development and became dependent on the infrequent service of small unscheduled aircraft.

Governor’s Executive Order No. 646 dated June 7, 1935 set aside 27.86 acres situated at Haneoo, Hana, as Hana Airport to be under the control and management of the Superintendent of Public Works.

The landing field was a narrow strip suitable only for two wind directions but served commercial travel for that section of the island of Maui, which otherwise was rather inaccessible.

In a report to the Governor on January 7, 1937, Robert L. Campbell, District Advisor, Airport Section, Bureau of Air Commerce, wrote:

“The use of Hana Airport on Maui should be discontinued because the physical characteristics of the land and its location make expansion of the usable area impractical.  The hazard attendant to the operation of modern transport equipment within restricted areas prohibits the use of Federal Funds for the permanent improvement of airports that cannot be enlarged sufficiently to meet minimum Bureau of Air Commerce requirements as to size and usable area.  Any moneys being expended for maintenance on these fields should only be continued so long as it is necessary for uninterrupted service, and when other facilities are available should be used on airports being developed that will meet these minimum requirements.”

“This field should only be considered an emergency field, although Inter-Island Airways, Ltd., will make stops for passengers.  Rock pinnacles on the South end of this field should be eliminated so as to give a safety approach from that direction as well as additional grading along the West side of the field.”

Act 32, SLH 1947, placed Hamoa Airport under the management of the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission effective July 1, 1947.

On July 16, 1947 the Director of the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission wrote to Mr. Paul Fagan of Hana Ranch offering him the present Hana Airport on a five-year lease for a dollar a year. Later that year Hana Ranch requested that a portion of the road running through the airport be blocked. The HAC authorized the ranch to build a barrier across the road at the north end and to grade the road to provide additional runway length.

No further development of the airport occurred and only small charter and private airplanes used this field.  Plans were being developed for a new airport in the Hana District. When completed use of the airport was discontinued.

On December 28, 1950 the HAC recommended that the Hamoa Airfield be turned back to the Commissioner of Public Lands.

Governor’s Executive Order No. 1410 dated January 17, 1951 withdrew land at Haneoo, Hana, Maui from EO No. 646 that was no longer required for Hana Airport and returned it to the Commissioner of Public Lands.

Related content

Governor’s Executive Orders Old Hana Airport at Haneoo Old Hana Airport operated under authority of the Territory from 1935 to 1951 when it was replaced by the new Hana Airport a short distance away.

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