Kahului Airport

The history of Kahului Airport was one of extensive negotiations that began with the passing of Joint Resolution 18 on May 19, 1947 by the Territorial Legislature.  It noted, “As the U.S. Navy will abandon use of its Kahului Airport on Maui, and this airport may be more economically operated and provide safer airplane operations than the territorially owned airport at Puunene, the superintendent of public works is directed to make a survey with CAA officials and the U.S. Navy to determine whether or not the Kahului airport can be made available for civilian flying in lieu of Puunene Airport; and determine whether airplane operations at Kahului airport can be carried on more safely than at Puunene; and whether or not the Kahului airport can be operated more economically than Puunene.”

The Superintendent of Public Works noted in June 1948 that Kahului Airport had two paved runways 400 feet in width and 6,900 feet and 6,000 feet in length and was being used mainly by commercial airlines operating between the islands.  Each airline had its own terminal facilities.

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

Negotiations for the leasing of Kahului Naval Air Station from the Navy and its conversion into the principal airfield on Maui were discontinued in February 1949 by the HAC due to the stringent requirements by the Navy that included reactivating the field in time of a national emergency. However in June 1949, negotiations were reopened with the Navy on the basis of a revocable permit.  Indications were that a satisfactory solution could be found. The Hawaii Aeronautics Commission accepted the Kahului Airport lease from the U.S. Navy on August 1, 1949 on a revocable permit basis and voted to draw up a Master Plan for the airport.

The HAC approved on November 11, 1949 the Board of Agriculture and Forestry maintaining Kanaha Pond in Kahului as a Waterfowl Sanctuary as long as the HAC had control of that area.

Kahului was visited by United Air Lines’ Stratocruiser Hana-Maui on April 29, 1950 as a public relations trip. The plane was inspected by an estimated 5,000 persons and after a luncheon sponsored by the Maui County Chamber of Commerce returned to Honolulu with a full load of invited guests. Runway strength tests were taken before the event to insure safe operation of a heavy plane from this field.

In June 1950 negotiations with the U.S. Navy for declaring the Naval Air Station, Kahului surplus were still being carried on.  In the meantime the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission continued to operate the field.  Kahului was used by Trans-Air Hawaii in its scheduled freight service and was one of the principal air freight ports in the Territory.  It was also serviced by Valley Isle Aviation which rendered charter and instruction services, supplied fuel and oil to transients and flew special ”fish spotting patrols” for local fishermen.

It was not until May 25, 1951 that the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission took definite action to transfer all airline operations from Puunene to Kahului.  Accordingly, a program of modernization was immediately undertaken.

Much work was necessary before Kahului could be made usable for commercial airline operations. A joint passenger terminal was constructed out of surplus materials, an old shop building remodeled into an air freight building with refrigeration facilities, a new passenger protection fence, rotating beacon, temporary runway lights installed, necessary obstruction lights erected, the lighted tetrahedron repaired, and paving repairs made as necessary.

Paving of a new convenient entrance to the automobile parking lot was completed. Three large two-story Quonset huts were remodeled into small plane shelters, one of which was turned over to the Hawaii National Guard for use of two liaison-type L-19 aircraft.

Full commercial airline operations from Kahului began in June 1952, virtually abandoning Puunene which, although not used, was kept on a standby status until title to Kahului became vested in the Territory and full CAA communications and weather facilities were moved from Puunene.

A bill was introduced in Congress authorizing the Navy to grant title of Kahului Airport to the Territory.  The bill was finally passed in June 1952, but the actual transfer did not take place for several more years.

On April 23, 1951 the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 12 requested use of Building 509 at the former U.S. Naval Air Station at Kahului, for use of the Coast Guard Auxiliary as an operation center, rent free.  The request was granted along with a delineated airplane parking area for the Coast Guard’s benefit. Also using the field were Trans-Air Hawaii, Ltd., a certificated air freight operator.  In addition, this field was served by Valley Isle Aviation, Ltd., charter operators, Murrayair, Ltd., crop sprayers and dusters, as well as charter operators from other airports. There were six privately owned planes based at Kahului. Air activity for Armed Forces Day on the Island of Maui was concentrated here and was marked by the visit of two U.S. Navy 2 V’s and a MATS C-54 hospital plane.  All local planes participated in flying demonstrations during the day.

On May 25, 1951, the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission decided to move interisland operations from Puunene to Kahului. Accordingly, a program of modernization was immediately undertaken. Construction of a new temporary passenger building began.  Extensive patching of paved areas was accomplished and the area was cleared of war-time structures to make way for a new modern joint terminal facility.

Highlights of 1951:

  • The HAC set a temporary rental rate of $13 per month for hangar rentals at Kahului on October 22, 1951.
  • The HAC approved on November 13, 1951 the expenditure of $1,200 to build a third hangar at Kahului Airport, including a toilet.
  • The HAC allocated $10,000 on March 13, 1952 to proceed with the balance of alterations to the freight building at Kahului, excluding refrigeration. The Commission also approved $3,500 for the erection of a passenger protection fence at Kahului.
  • The HAC approved making available the space and housing for reefers at the freight terminal at Kahului Airport on April 28, 1952, but that the equipment or cold storage room would not be installed by the HAC.  The HAC reconsidered its decision a week later and adopted a policy to furnish refrigeration facilities Territory-wide wherever necessary and where an air transportation company was willing to lease and amortize these facilities over a reasonable period of time.  Hawaiian Airlines agreed to rent these facilities and guaranteed service to other airlines at a pro-rated cost if space was available. The HAC approved $12,000 for the purpose of building three reefers at Kahului with the service and equipment leased to Hawaiian Airlines.  HAL agreed to pay all power bills and perform all routine maintenance.

H.B. 4511 as signed by the President on June 23, 1952 did not transfer the Airport to the Territory, as expected, but merely gave the Secretary of the Navy power to convey the land to the Territory.

The new Kahului Airport opened for interisland passenger and freight operations on June 24, 1952.  All operations on Maui were moved from Puunene to Kahului.  Modernization of the former wartime facility was undertaken at a cost of $150,000.  All interisland activities were now housed under one roof.

Highlights of 1953:

  • Electrical equipment was purchased from Hawaiian Electric Co. on October 13, 1953. Cost: $24,649.
  • South Road was resurfaced on May 25, 1953. Cost: $11,204.
  • Kahului Airport became the second largest in the Territory in terms of total aircraft operations.
  • The renovated terminal at Kahului housed the two interisland certificated carriers and there were restaurant and bar services.  Control tower operations were handled by the CAA in a separate building.  Plans were under way for the construction of a new control tower.
  • Runway resurfacing was completed on August 28, 1953.  Cost: $9,267.
  • In 1954 a Temporary Control Tower was completed, $12,100; Private plane hangars were completed, $7,050; and miscellaneous projects were completed $25,930. Projects in the planning stage were: medium intensity runway lighting system, $105,000 and permanent control tower, $111,000.

Transfer of the ownership title of Kahului Airport, as authorized by Public Law 377, had not been effected as of June 30, 1955, with the result that the HAC was still unable to initiate vitally needed improvements to the airport.  Meanwhile, the HAC continued to provide funds for the operation and maintenance of the interim control tower, as an annual cost of approximately $41,452.

On August 22, 1955 the HAC appropriated $10,000 for necessary repairs to the Kahului Passenger Terminal and on October 22, 1955 the HAC appropriated $21,929 to continue operation of the Kahului Control Tower by the CAA for the period January 1-June 30, 1956.  A request from the Hawaii National Guard for a parcel of land at Kahului Airport to be used as an armory site was approved by the HAC on November 19, 1955.

In 1955, the airport consisted of 1,341 acres, and had three paved runways: Runway 2-20 was 200-feet wide and 7,000-feet long, Runway 5-23 was 300-feet wide and 5,000-feet long, and Runway 17-35 was 200-feet wide and 5,000-feet long.

The airport was served by Hawaiian Airlines, Ltd. and Trans-Pacific Airlines, Ltd. on a scheduled basis and by Andrew Flying Service, the Hawaii National Guard and U.S. military on a non-scheduled basis.

Facilities included a joint passenger terminal building, restaurant, freight terminal building, ground transportation services, paved taxiways and apron, wind socks, one lighted runway (5-23), a lighted tetrahedron, radio beacon, ceiling light projector, rotating beacon, small plane shelters, obstruction lights, field maintenance, crash and fire protection, and ramp lighting. A new tower and control building were completed on October 2, 1958.

Highlights of the late 1950s:

The HAC appropriated $2,000 to clean the main drainage ditch at Kahului Airport on January 21, 1956.  It had become blocked with debris from a storm.
The HAC appropriated $21,853 for the continued operation of Kahului Control Tower for the period July 1, 1956-December 31, 1956. The Commission could not build a new tower at the airport due to the non-completion of the transfer of title to the Territory.
The construction of private plane hangars was completed in 1956 at a cost of $7,050.
The HAC appropriated $21,509 to keep the CAA tower in operation from January 1, 1957 through June 30, 1957.
On May 26, 1956 the HAC accepted the proposed Quitclaim Deed transferring title of Kahului Airport to the Territory.  The deed contained several provisions which were not to the Commission’s liking; however, the deed was the best possible one that could be obtained under the law authorizing the transfer of the airport.  The HAC agreed to pursue the proper procedure to amend the deed for removal of the unfavorable provisions.

Title to Kahului Airport on Maui was officially transferred to the Territory in December 1956 when the Quitclaim Deed authorized by Public Law 377, 82nd Congress, was executed by the Navy Department.  Kahului Airport consisted of 1,335 acres of land acquired by the Navy for $467,000 and developed into a major naval air facility at a cost of $28 million.

Transfer of the airport and all improvements thereon to the Territory permitted the HAC to proceed with the further development of the airport, including the construction of a new Control Tower to replace the interim Control Tower and installation of a permanent runway lighting system.  The Department of Public Works was authorized to proceed with final plans for the new construction.  Both projects were financed with Territorial and Federal aid funds.


  • On January 31, 1957 the HAC authorized the Department of Public Works to appoint an architect for the control tower and to appoint an engineer for the design of the runway lighting system.
  • The HAC agreed on February 28, 1957 to lease HC&S approximately100 acres of land at Kahului Airport for planting of sugar cane, subject to the 30 day cancellation clause; cancellation to be for aeronautical purposes only and HC&S retaining the right to remove the crop.
  • The HAC approved the Master Plan for Kahului Airport on March 23, 1957.
  • The HAC authorized and appropriated the sum of $10,000 for operation of the Kahului Tower for the period July 1, 1957 to September 30, 1957.
  • On June 22, 1957 the HAC adopted a resolution authorizing the acceptance and the execution of a grant agreement between the Territory of Hawaii acting by and through the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission and the United States of America Civil Aeronautics Administration, providing for federal aid in the development of and the operation and maintenance of Kahului Airport.
  • In November 1957 the HAC agreed to extend Control Tower Services indefinitely until the new tower was completed.  A contract was awarded for the construction of the new TOMAC Building to Ideal Contractors for $117,670. A contract for runway lighting was awarded to Aruda Electric Co. for $105,918.
  • The project to install a medium intensity lighting system for Runway 2-20 was completed on September 7, 1958. Cost: $130,798.
  • The new FAA tower and control building was completed on October 2, 1958. The FAA began operating its new control tower (TOWAC) and building in December 1958. Cost: $146,470.
  • Construction of T-hangars for small planes and resurfacing of Runway 5-23 were completed in 1959.
  • Act 30, SLH 1962, appropriated $160,000 for Clear Zone Hazard Removal, and $10,000 for T-hangars at Kahului Airport.
  • A pre-fabricated steel building housing four plane stalls for aircraft (T-hangar) was constructed in April 1963.  Cost: $8,807.
  • Act 201, SLH 1963, appropriated $113,560 for a restaurant, general landscaping and improvement of parking area; $111,440 for installation of Runway and Taxiway lights; and $32,000 for a four stall Fire & Rescue Building.
  • An all-weather instrument landing system for Runway 2-20 was installed and commissioned by the FAA on November 9, 1963.  Kahului became the second airport to have an all-weather instrument runway, the other being Honolulu International.

On December 18, 1963 the firm of Vladimir Ossipoff and Associates was hired to prepare plans, specifications and estimates for a new terminal building at Kahului Airport with anticipated completion of the terminal scheduled for the fall of 1965.

Ground was broken on February 1, 1965 for the construction of the new Kahului Terminal Building.   The $834,500 project was partially financed by funds from the sale of Puunene Airport. The building floor area was three times that of the old terminal, which was originally constructed in 1951 as a temporary facility. The new terminal featured an interior garden, carousel baggage handling system and large open lobby area. Upon completion, the new terminal would be an outstanding example of beauty and efficiency in passenger convenience while still retaining the warmth of Maui’s hospitality.

Bids for the operation of the restaurant in the new terminal building were opened on March 23, 1965 and the concession was awarded to Maui Skyport Service.  Other concessions to be awarded included a gift shop and a flower shop.

Act 195, SLH 1965, appropriated $1,000,000 for continuing land acquisition for clearing of the hazard zone.

As a result of intensified resort development on Maui, Kahului Airport traffic increased 15.5 percent, with 510,000 passengers passing through the terminal building in 1965.

Work was completed on a new fire and rescue equipment building to house State owned and Air Force aircraft fire fighting units.  The Kahului building housed four units. Cost: $27,229.

A contract was awarded for a terminal area drain in January 1966.  Cost: $30,935. A contract was awarded for the terminal building lobby furniture on February 2, 1966.  Cost: $12,591.

The new Kahului Airport Terminal was dedicated June 25, 1966 with a gala celebration.  The new building, designed by Vladimir Ossipoff & Associates, drew high praise for its modern interpretation of the Hawaiian theme. The American Institute of Architects, Hawaii Chapter, presented Vladimir Ossipoff and Associates an award for excellence in design for their work on the Kahului Air Terminal in April 1970.


  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 2317 dated May 25, 1967 set aside 11.528 acres for airport purposes in Sprecklesville.
  • Act 217, SLH 1967, appropriated $1,669,000 for construction of drainage facilities, pavement and other improvements, including plans for extension of runway 2-20 to 10,500 feet to accommodate jets, and $95,000 for construction of an Air Cargo Building.
  • A contract for repairs to the runways and taxiways was completed on November 8, 1967. Cost: $149,927.
  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 2346 dated November 24, 1967 set aside 52.912 acres of additional land for Kahului Airport in East Sprecklesville.
  • Governor’s Executive Order No. dated January 9, 1968 set aside 66.100 acres of land to Maui County for the Kanaha Beach Park Avigation Easement.
  • A large modern Visitor Information Program booth replaced the old booth at Kahului Airport in 1968.
  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 2372 dated March 21, 1968 revised EO No. 2317 to add title to descriptions for Parcels 8 and 8A.
  • Act 40, SLH 1968, appropriated $250,000 to construct additions to the terminal concourse and other related facilities; $626,000 for relocation of ground transportation facilities; and $220,000 for extension of Runway 2-20.
  • Terminal area improvements, parking lot paving, lighting and landscaping were completed on August 22, 1968. Cost: $444,067.
  • Clear zone hazard removal was completed on October 24, 1968.  Cost: $50,250.
  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 2427 dated February 12, 1969 set aside two new parcels of land for Kahului Airport: 1,260.584 and 8.354 acres from the Navy.
  • The Kahului Airport Master Plan was completed in 1969.
  • A contract was awarded for construction of a new air cargo building. Cost: $85,336. Construction began in June 1969. The new structure would replace the old World War II building being used by the interisland airlines.  After relocation was completed the old facility was demolished to make way for parking lot expansion.
  • Repairs were made to the Airport Access Road and completed on January 20, 1969. Cost: $23,156.
  • Resurfacing of a portion of Runway 2-20 was completed. Cost: $102,925.
  • Act 155, SLH 1969, appropriated $1.627 million for plans for airfield and terminal improvements, construction of additions to the cargo terminal, resurfacing of runways and other improvements.
  • A contract was awarded in 1969 for construction of drainage and other airfield improvements. Cost: $1,049,626.
  • Construction of an air cargo building was completed on February 13, 1970. Cost: $85,336.
  • The resurfacing of Runways 5-23 and 2-20 was completed on March 14, 1970. Cost: $470,555.
  • Act 187, SLH 1970, appropriated $5,730,000 for reconstruction of Runway 2-20 and parallel taxiway, installation of high intensity runway lights and medium intensity taxiway lights, marking and other misc. airfield improvements; and $1.24 million for construction of a two-lane highway from Honoapiilani Highway near Maalaea to Hana Highway near Kahului.
  • Additions to the terminal building were completed in February 1971. Cost: $126,456.
  • Act 68, SLH 1971, appropriated $575,000 for the grading, paving, landscaping and lighting the access roadway, underground utilities and other improvements; and construction of new maintenance facilities.

In 1971 the FAA began to implement the Airport and Airways Development Act of 1970 under a plan entitled the Airport Certification Program.  Under this program, every airport serving air carriers certified by the Civil Aeronautics Board had to maintain certificates from the FAA to remain in operation. This program imposed an entirely new system of inspections, record-keeping and reporting on airports and required additional funds and personnel to meet its stringent requirements.

The FAA also published a “Notice of Proposed Rule-Making on Aviation Security” and began to implement an airport security system. This new program meant new obligations for the Airports Division and required equipment expenditures and personnel increases.

Under the requirements of the Airport Certification Program, an Airports Division Procedures Manual was produced in draft form and manuals were also drafted for each airport serving CAB-certified carriers.

After a lapse of several years, the FAA revived a system of inspections under its Compliance Program, and inspected all airports within the State.  Hawaii’s airports passed inspection in every important respect, and corrective measures were initiated to correct some minor instances of non-compliance, such as lack of adequate clear zones.

Highlights of the 1970s:

  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 2594 dated December 6, 1971 set aside 143.010 acres of land for Kahului Airport adjacent to Hana Highway.
  • The ground transportation subdivision was completed on December 20, 1971. Cost: $242,383.
  • Reconstruction of the aircraft apron was underway in 1972 under a $1,832,162 contract.  The old apron, built by the Navy during World War II, had seriously deteriorated.
  • A quick-response rescue vehicle was ordered for Kahului Airport in June 1972.  The vehicle could transport the fire chief, break-in tools and fire suppressant chemicals to a crash within three to four minutes, while slower equipment was still on the way.  The vehicle could carry 500 gallons of water, 55 gallons of foam concentrate and 500 pounds of dry chemical.
  • Relocation of ground transportation facilities was completed on July 7, 1972. Cost: $97,793.
  • A contract for apron rehabilitation and airfield lighting was completed on February 21, 1973. Cost: $1,832,162.
  • A contract was awarded on April 25, 1973 for the paving of the ground transportation subdivision. The project was completed in 1974. Cost: $221,000.
  • Act 218, SLH 1973, appropriated $660,000 to improve the access road and construct a maintenance facility; and $5 million for terminal expansion.
  • A contract for installation of fencing around the aircraft operation area was awarded in March 1974.  The $99,517 contract provided for perimeter and security fencing in accordance with FAA regulations. Work was completed in February 1975.
  • A contract was awarded for furnishing, installing and maintaining flight information systems on May 1, 1974. Cost: $24,066.
  • Act 218, SLH 1974, appropriated $1.3 million to improve the access road and construction maintenance facility; and $10 million for the terminal expansion.
  • Construction of a chlorination building was completed in June 1974. Cost: $19,695.
  • A contract was awarded for improvements to the terminal building. Completed October 1975. Cost: $421,988.
  • A contract was awarded for the expansion of public parking facilities in May 1975. Completed in December 1975. Cost: $125,811.
  • Kahului Airport was the second busiest airport in the state in 1975.  There was a Maintenance Section, Custodial Unit, Security Service Unit, Crash Fire Unit and a Visitors Information Unit. The airport had a 24 hour control tower.
  • Act 195, SLH 1975, appropriated $475,000 to construct a taxiway and extend the safety area.
  • In 1975 air taxi operators were moved to a separate building to allow expansion of the interisland ticket counters. Additional office space for the airlines was added to the mezzanine floor. Negotiations were underway with consultants for the design and construction of passenger terminal facilities.
  • Five positions were authorized by the Legislature and filled to form a professional crash/fire rescue cadre.
  • Charter flights from the Mainland began arriving at Kahului in 1975.
  • A contract was awarded for improvements to the airport access road in June 1976. Cost: $277,367.

In 1976 passenger traffic increased 4.9 percent. Some planning was carried out for renovation of the terminal to accommodate the heavy passenger load placed on the airport. Improvements to the terminal building and the public parking facilities were completed in October and December 1975.

The passenger load for the terminal in 1977 exceeded its designed capacity.  Although cargo had not increased markedly, the load of passengers and the number of aircraft operations continued to rise at a rapid rate. The 1977 Legislature appropriated $2.5 million for expansion of the terminal.

Governor’s Executive Order No. 2906 dated May 6, 1978 set aside 2.71 acres for an addition to Kahului Airport in Sprecklesville. Later that month a contract was awarded for resurfacing Runway 2-20. Cost: $285,000.  Act 243, SLH 1978, appropriated $2.5 million for construction additions and alterations to the passenger and cargo terminal buildings, parking lot, roadways, and $1.2 million for improvements to the General Aviation East Ramp.

Dedication ceremonies were held on July 14, 1978 for the new 2,900 square foot holding wing for Aloha Airlines. The new space replaced the temporary holding room in the waiting lobby that had been previously used. Cost: $237,497.

Emergency preparedness was exercised in an air disaster drill at Kahului Airport on May 17, 1979. Rescue teams from airport maintenance units and airline employees assisted crash-fire rescue employees in the simulated disaster designed to test the airport emergency plan.

A contract was awarded for airfield pavement strengthening and related work in June 1979. Cost: $4.7 million.

Act 214, SLH 1979, appropriated $9.6 million for construction additions and alterations to passenger and cargo terminal buildings, parking lots, roadways, etc.; $1.3 million for construction of a taxiway and extended safety area; $3.125 million for terminal roadway and parking alterations; $2.35 million for developing facilities for air cargo including utility systems, aprons, roadways, parking, etc.; and $700,000 to expand the air taxi terminal.

Governor’s Executive Order No. 2987 dated November 26, 1979 withdrew 23.587 acres from EO No. 2427 for a sewage treatment plant and easement for waste water force mains purposes.

Dedication ceremonies were held for the new airport maintenance building and baseyard on December 14 1979.  It replaced a building converted from a warehouse after World War II.  The 8,000-foot building included space for automobile, carpentry, electrical, building maintenance, groundskeeping and utility work.  Covered space for vehicle storage was in an adjacent 2,880 square foot shed.  Fuel storage and dispensing facilities and vehicle stands were located within the complex. The building was equipped with a large paint booth for spray painting of signs, furniture and other equipment.  A dump truck or fire truck could be driven into the booth for painting.  Cost: $779,662. With the relocation of the baseyard, there was now room to double automobile parking at the passenger terminal building.


  • Act 300, SLH 1980, appropriated $9.6 million for Kahului Airport Expansion; $1.8 million to construct a taxiway and extend the safety area; $3.125 million for terminal roadway and parking alterations; $3 million to develop facilities for air cargo; and $700,000 to expand the air taxi terminal.
  • A public information meeting was held in March 1981 to present the proposed plans for the Kahului Airport Terminal expansion.
  • A groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 22, 1981 for new general aviation facilities.  The improvements included three T-hangars to house 30 aircraft and a restroom area, a new taxiway entrance to the east ramp, marked parking stalls for 38 cars and a new roadway. Cost: $1.6 million.
  • Act 1, Special Session 1, 1981, appropriated $18 million for expansion of the Kahului Terminal.
  • A 1,600 square foot hold room was under construction in 1980 for Aloha Airlines and Mid-Pacific Air.  Completion was expected in December 1982.  Cost: $229,302.
  • Future plans include the remodeling and expansion of the terminal.  The $239 million terminal complex will include a new FAA control tower, a commuter terminal and operational improvements.
  • Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in March 1982 for the new $1 million Crash/Fire Rescue Building.  The 6,300 square foot, one-story structure included a crew dormitory, a kitchen, office, training facilities, an apparatus room with space for four vehicles, and a trailer for emergency medical supplies. The building was completed in 1983.
  • Act 264, SLH 1982, appropriated $6.2 million for the Passenger Terminal expansion.
  • Act 301, SLH 1983, appropriated $19.2 million for airport expansion and $2.81 million for service support facilities.
  • A telecommunications system for the deaf was installed in 1983 to better accommodate handicapped and disabled persons.
  • Construction began on a new air cargo building for interisland carriers on December 5, 1983. Cost: $1.04 million.
  • Relocation of ground transportation operators began in July 1984. Cost: $1.81 million.
  • Act 285, SLH 1984, appropriated $43.82 million for design and construction additions and alterations to buildings, roads, parking, aprons, new terminal, taxiways, runways, relocate control tower; and $2.81 million for clearing and grubbing, install utilities, grade, pave and light lots, roadways, parking, for the cargo terminal.

Scheduled direct flights to Maui from the mainland began arriving at Kahului in 1983 which necessitated expansion and renovation of the airport facilities. Interim modifications, to be accomplished in four phases at a cost of $1.7 million, began at the Kahului terminal facility.  Phase I called for the covering of the open court area in the terminal.  The $68,000 project was scheduled for completion in 1985.

Phase II involved the installation of three new baggage claim devices, similar to those found at Honolulu International Airport, for the three interisland carriers.  Revision of the roadway and parking system for ground transportation comprised Phase III of the interim modifications. Included in the plan was construction of U-Drive car rental pickup/drop off islands and additional lanes for through traffic.  The $333,000 project was expected to alleviate traffic congestion and facilitate traffic flow.

Phase IV included modifications to existing Mid Pacific and Aloha baggage claim areas, new ground transportation facilities for U-Drive operators, new restrooms and relocation of concession and gift shop facilities.  When completed, it would facilitate passenger flow and better utilize existing space within the terminal area.

Construction of a new $50 million terminal facility for Kahului Airport was tentatively scheduled to begin in 1986 and be completed in 1990.

Ground transportation operators were relocated in a separate project at the terminal facility.  The grading and subdivision of existing ground transportation space created an expanded area for operations.  The $1.76 million project was scheduled for completion in December 1984.


  • Construction began to install three baggage claim systems in July 1984. Cost: $190,000.
  • Construction began in September 1984 to relocate ground transportation and concession facilities to provide public space in the existing terminal. Cost: $1.21 million.  Completed June 1985.
  • Modifications to the existing baggage claim areas, new ground transportation facilities for U-Drive operators, new restrooms, and relocation of concession and gift shop facilities were completed in April 1985.

Design of a new Kahului Airport Terminal Complex began in 1985. Consisting of three phases, the $36.5 million complex took five years to complete. Work included additions and alterations to existing structures, roads, parking areas, aprons, a new terminal, taxiways, runways, landscaping, cargo terminal and relocation of the FAA tower. Support facilities included a new helipad and cargo terminal.


  • Act 300, SLH 1985, appropriated $35.8 million for design and construction of airport expansion, and $1.65 million for service support facilities.
  • Construction began on June 17, 1985 to pave the area between taxiways for aircraft operational space.  Cost: $230,000.
  • Western Airlines began service to Kahului from the Mainland on December 14, 1985.
  • A new holding room on the Paia side of the terminal was completed in January 1986.  Cost $400,000.
  • Maui Airlines closed down on April 30, 1986.
  • Improvements to the East Ramp were completed in May 1986. Cost: $1.1 million.
  • In May 1986 a contract was awarded for construction of the Commuter Terminal. Cost: $700,000.
  • Act 345, SLH 1986, appropriated $36.5 million for design and constructing additions and alterations, and $1.65 million to design and construct support facilities.
  • A contract was awarded in 1986 for the new aircraft parking apron.
  • The FAA advertised for bids to relocate the control tower.
  • The Maui Air Traffic Association was formed by residents of the Sprecklesville area to present their concerns and recommendations regarding aircraft noise.
  • The bypass to Haleakala Highway was completed in August 1986. Cost: $300,000.
  • The improvements to the East Ramp which subdivided the area for scenic flight aviation and helicopter use were completed in October 1986. Cost: $1.1 million.
  • Construction of the commuter terminal apron and taxiway was completed in December 1986. Cost: $1.5 million.
  • The new $2.3 million Commuter Terminal at Kahului Airport was dedicated on January 15, 1987.  The facility could accommodate eight commuter operators and aircraft up to Twin Otters. The facility was sufficient to accommodate eight commuter operators and their aircraft.
  • Act 216, SLH 1987, appropriated $33.8 million for airport expansion; $2.7 million for service support facilities; and $800,000 for airfield improvements.
  • Site development for the new post office was completed in June 1987. Cost: $400,000.
  • The Haleakala Bypass Road was completed in 1987.  It provided access from Haleakala Highway to the Airport.

The expanded Terminal Complex development was well underway in 1987.  The first phase construction for the aircraft hardstands and apron, taxiway strengthening, terminal front roadway and vehicle parking was scheduled to be completed early in 1988.  Follow-on second phases were in the bid process and design stages.

Plans were in progress for the first phase of the new terminal building which included the construction of a ticketing building, central building, holdrooms and eight gate positions. Other projects in progress were the second phase of the aircraft hardstands, realignment and improvements to Keolani Place, improvements to Kalialinui Gulch and the Runway Safety Area.

The Kahului Airport Development Study and the Kahului Airport Access Roads and Hana Highway Widening Study were undertaken to facilitate the decision making process and enhance the development of the Kahului Airport complex.  Both studies were in the final stages of completion.


  • Phase I construction of aircraft hardstands was completed in October 1987.  Extreme ramp congestion during peak traffic necessitated building the new parking apron in two parts for the new terminal building.  Parking for automobiles was also divided into two parts with the first segment completed in late 1987. Cost: $8.8 million.
  • Phase 1 of the access road and parking project for the new frontal road and vehicle parking was completed in November 1987. Cost: $3.7 million.
  • Act 390, SLH 1988, appropriated $35.8 million for airport expansion; $2.7 million for service support facilities; and $800,000 for airfield improvements.
  • A groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 14, 1988 to kick off the construction of the new passenger terminal facility. The facility included new ticketing and central buildings, hold rooms, modernized gates with loading bridges and added facilities for ground transportation to serve the increased passenger traffic.  Cost: $44.6 million.
  • The Menehune Program was kicked off on November 16, 1988 to help tourists and residents find their way through construction detours and improvements at Kahului Airport.
  • A dedication ceremony was held on December 16, 1988 for the new FAA Air Traffic Control Tower.  Construction of the new terminal building required relocation of the old FAA Air Traffic Control Tower.  The tower is now located on the opposite side of the airport.

Noise maps were being developed in 1988 which described levels of disturbance by aircraft on areas adjacent to Kahului Airport.   Federal standards for noise measurement and description are prescribed in Federal Aviation Regulation Part 150 and used to create the noise maps and establish guidelines for appropriate land use compatible with airport activities.

Known as Part 150 Studies, the projects involved public information meetings to discuss findings and alternative remedial actions that could be taken to reduce noise conflicts.  In addition to providing relief for neighboring communities, the program assists in assuring that the long-range airport system meets the needs of the state and local public served by each airport.  State and County planners, as well as affected property owners, use this as a basis for assessing the noise impact and deciding the appropriate land use around airports.

In addition, the state was updating the Statewide Airport System Master Plan which forecasts movements of passengers and cargo by air into and throughout the State. A detailed master plan for Kahului Airport was being revised to reflect the new forecasts and depict future improvements.

To allow wide body aircraft to operate at maximum takeoff weight, strengthening and lengthening of the existing runway was proposed in the recommended master plan.  In addition to a longer runway, the state proposed a parallel runway to meet future aircraft capacity needs. Plans for the construction of an extended runway safety area resulted in extensive discussions with both the community and county officials.  The project was designed to improve airfield safety and did not include extension of the runway pavement.  However, if the community agreed to the need for a longer runway, the safety area would be capable of supporting the pavement.

Design and construction of several phases of expansion of passenger facilities progressed.  The first phase included the completion of the commuter terminal and the construction of parking lots and part of the aircraft parking apron.  Design work included the new terminal building, access roads and the extended runway safety area.  Total cost of the project was estimated to be $73 million.

The Noise Exposure Map for Kahului Airport was completed in 1990.


  • Phase II construction of aircraft hard stands was completed in February 1989.  Cost: $7.4 million.
  • Work to furnish and install eight aircraft loading bridges for the new terminal began in February 1989. Cost: $2.7 million.
  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 3418 dated May 12, 1989 withdrew 5.1 acres from Parcel A from EO No. 2427 for an exchange with the USA for a Post Office.
  • Act 316, SLH 1989, appropriated $64 million for design and construction of the airport expansion; $3.3 million for design and construction of support facilities; and $33 million for design and construction of airfield improvements.
  • Phase II of the airport access roads and parking project was completed and dedicated on January 16, 1990.  It included the realignment of Keolani Place and additional parking. Cost: $5.8 million.
  • Act 299, SLH 1990, appropriated $104 million for design and construction of the airport expansion; $3.3 million for design and construction of support facilities; and $33 million for design and construction of an extension to the runway.
  • A new security access control system was installed in October 1990.  Cost: $1.3 million.

The new $42.6 million Kahului Airport Terminal Building was dedicated on October 17, 1990 and operations began on October 18.  The new terminal had 267,000 square feet and included an 82,000 sq. ft. ticketing terminal, group tour bus terminal and group baggage drop off, and a 78,000 square foot two-story Central Building which housed the airport administration offices, hold rooms, jetways, restaurant and concessions.  The flight information display system for the new terminal was completed and cost $619,000. An aircraft guidance system was installed in December 1990. Cost: $244,000.


  • A new telecommunications system was installed in February 1991.  Cost: $531,000.
  • A groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 8, 1991 for Phase IIB of the $64 million new terminal facilities.  Construction began in March.
  • Construction began to widen Keolani Place to four lanes in March 1991.
  • Construction of the runway safety area was completed in May 1991. It had a 500,000 square foot RSA with a 2,000 square foot blast pad at the south end of Runway 2-20.  Also included in the project were the construction of a box culvert and channel to handle flood waters from Kalialinui Gulch and an emergency roadway around the RSA to reconnect Haleakala Highway. Cost: $13.6 million.
  • Act 296, SLH 1991, appropriated $15.5 million for service support facilities, and $28 million for airfield improvements.
  • A project to increase capacity of Kalialinui Gulch was completed in August 1991. Cost $10.9 million.
  • A new security access control system was installed in October 1991. Cost: $1.4 million.
  • The existing three-lane stretch of Hana Highway between Dairy Road and Haleakala Highway was widened to four lanes in October 1991 to ease traffic congestion that occurs during the morning and afternoon peak. Cost: $8.5 million.
  • Eight loading bridges were installed in January 1922.  Cost: $2.7 million.
  • The new terminal building at Kahului Airport was dedicated on February 21, 1992.
  • Repair work began in June 1992 on Runways 2-20 and 5-23 and taxiways at a cost of $2.5 million.
  • Act 300, SLH 1992, appropriated $16 million for design and construction of service support facilities, and $28 million for design and construction of an extension to the existing runway.
  • Eleven aircraft loading bridges were installed in July 1992.  Cost: $4.9 million.
  • Artwork from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts was dedicated at Kahului Airport on August 27, 1992.
  • Additions to the security system were installed in October 1992.  Cost: $777,878.
  • Repair of portions of Runways 2-20 and 5-23 and the taxiways was completed in November 1992. Cost: $2.5 million.
  • Construction of the baggage claim and four additional hold rooms with 12 gates was completed in December 1992.  Cost: $63.9 million.
  • The final phase of the new Kahului Airport Terminal Building was completed in February 1993. Four additional hold rooms and 12 aircraft gates were constructed to better serve the increasing number of interisland and domestic travelers.  Cost: $72.8 million.
  • Nine aircraft loading bridges were installed in February 1993.  Cost: $3.5 million.
  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 3580 dated February 16, 1993 withdrew 0.3642 acres from EO No. 2427 for realignment of a new airport access road and circulation road.
  • The second phase of the widening of Keolani Place to four lanes was completed in May 1993. Cost $2.1 million.

The Kahului Airport Master Plan was published in June 1993. Recommendations made in the Master Plan included:

Phase I (1992-1996) of the Master Plan proposed $133.7 million for projects which included land acquisition, extension of Runway 2-20 to 9,600 feet, associated west side taxiways and relocation of NAVAIDS, repaving and strengthening of existing Runway 2-20 and taxiways; relocation of VORTAC, construction of a new air cargo facilities on west side; airport support and infrastructure of an airport access road and interchange, perimeter/service road and fencing around extended Runway 2-20, an ARFF training facility and station, Post Office ramp access road, East Ramp sewer system, underground communications and electrical utilities along Hana Highway, and a non-potable water supply system.

Phase II (1997-2002), proposed $39.8 million for land acquisition, commercial aviation lease lots at the East Ramp area, additional cargo facility and related apron improvements at East Ramp, additional T-hangars, new scenic air tour facilities, relocation of airline ground support equipment facility, expansion of ground transportation facilities, bulk fuel storage tanks, underground fuel pipeline to apron, roadway to connect Alahoa Street with Old Stable Road, North section of the East Ramp access road, extension of the perimeter/service road and fencing around northwest side of airport and expansion of Kanaha Beach Park.

Phase III (2003-2010) proposed $149.2 million, and include construction of an 8,500 foot parallel Runway 2R-20L and taxiways, NAVAIDS and drainage improvements, extension of a parallel taxiway for Runway 5-23, extension of the east side parallel taxiway for Runway 2L-20R, upgrade of RSAs for Runways 2L-20R and 5-23, construction of a transient aircraft parking apron, expansion of the west-side air cargo facilities, construction of Keolani Place lease lots, expansion of the ground transportation subdivision, construction of the East Ramp access road from Hana Highways, construction of a perimeter/service road and fencing around new runway 2R-20L, realignment of Hana Highway at the northeast end of the airport, and a new lease lot for a flight kitchen.


  • Act 289, SLH 1993, appropriated $64 million for design and construction of airport improvements; $18.5 million for design and construction of service support facilities; and $19.5 million for design and construction of airfield improvements.
  • Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays began direct flights from Los Angeles to Maui on March 24, 1994.
  • The Airport Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Facility was dedicated on May 27, 1994. Cost: $3.6 million.
  • Act 252, SLH 1994, appropriated $64 million for design and construction for airport improvements, and $19.8 million for design and construction of a runway extension.
  • On August 1, 1994 in a move to capitalize on its largest market, Hawaiian Airlines launched a new Maui Shuttle between HNL and OGG every half hour, increasing its Maui service by 36 percent to 34 flights a day, using 122-seat DC-9 jets.
  • Kahului Airport’s Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Facility was relocated on May 27, 1994.
  • The state undertook a Federal-State EIS in 1994 to lengthen the runway at Kahului. All construction was delayed until the EIS was completed.
  • Blue Hawaiian Helicopters opened a new $1.2 million headquarters and passenger facility on April 12, 1995, adding a new Maui all-island tour on May 1.
  • Act 218, SLH 1995, appropriated $60,000 for design and construction of service support facilities, and $21.3 million for design and construction of runway extension and taxiways.
  • In 1995 more than 2.7 million passengers flew between HNL and OGG making this route the third busiest route in the nation behind the New York-Los Angeles and New York-Chicago routes.
  • Act 287, SLH 1996, appropriated $510,000 for fuel storage site development; $60,000 for expansion of the existing mechanic shop; $42 million for the design and construction of runway 2-20 extension; $1.4 million for construction of ARFF Training Facility; $4.2 million for relocation of hold cargo building; $2.5 million to upgrade the East Ramp Sewer System; and $800,000 for design of the airport access road.
  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 3693 dated July 16, 1996 withdrew 10.004 acres from EO No. 2427 for forestry and wildlife purposes.
  • The Very High Frequency Omnidirection Radio Range/Tactical Air Navigation System (VORTAC) was relocated in July 1996.  Cost: $1.3 million.
  • Hawaiian Airlines began service between Anchorage and Maui on December 14, 1996 after signing a two-year agreement with Hawaiian Vacations to operate between Anchorage and Maui from December 14 through mid-March.
  • Act 328, SLH 1997, appropriated $2.3 million for design of additional ticketing lobby, concession and parking facilities; $310,000 for design and construction for external signage; $5.8 million for design and construction for modifications to the rental car facility, Phase I; $1.9 million for design and construction for Keolani Place Lease Lots; $422,000 for design of a non-potable water system; $5.5 million for relocation of the hold cargo building; $1.3 million for design of a cargo apron, taxiway and building; $575,000 for design to relocate the existing airline ground support facility; $760,000 for design and construction of the helicopter apron and taxiway expansion; and $300,000 for the Kahului Airport Master Plan Update.
  • Mahalo Air added 20 daily flights to its service between HNL and OGG effective July 15, 1997.
  • On September 15, 1997 United Parcel Service began cargo flights into Maui five days a week using a 767, offering direct connection between Maui, Honolulu and Ontario, California where it had one of its major hubs.
  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 3722 dated November 13, 1997 withdrew 34.500 acres as part of a tri-party agreement with Maui County parks.
  • Hawaiian Airlines began its seasonal Seattle-OGG service on November 18, 1997.
  • Pacific Wings began daily flights between Kahului and Hana on December 10, 1997 using eight-seat Cessna 402C planes on scheduled trips and four-seat Cessna 172 on on-call charter flights.
  • United Airlines added a second daily flight from Los Angles to Kahului on June 6, 1996 with a 188-seat 757 aircraft.

A Record of Decision was made on August 26, 1998 on the Kahului Environmental Impact Statement by the FAA giving unconditional approval to all projects except for the long-range projects. Mitigation measures included an Alien Species Action Plan.

Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays suspended its Seattle-Maui charter service with American Trans Air on May 10, 1998.

  • Act 116, SLH 1998, appropriated $2.3 million for design of an additional ticketing lobby, concession and parking; $310,000 for design and construction for signage and graphics; $5.8 million for design and construction for rental car facility modifications, Phase I; $1.8 million for design and construction for the Keolani Place Lease Lots; $422,000 for design of a non-potable water system; $7.5 million for construction to relocate the existing cargo building; $1.3 million for design of the cargo apron, taxiway and building; $575,000 for design to relocate the existing airline ground support facility; $2.8 million for construction to upgrade the East Ramp Sewer system; $142,000 for design and construction of the expansion of the existing mechanic shop; and $510,000 for construction of fuel storage site development; and $300,000 for the Kahului Airport Master Plan Update.
  • United Airlines added a third daily Los Angeles-Maui flight on July 8, 1998 for the peak summer season using 188-seat Boeing 757-200.
  • Hawaiian Airlines began year-round Seattle-Maui service on September 8, 1998 due to high demand using 304-seat DC-10 aircraft.
  • American Airlines pilots went on “sick out” (strike) on February 10, 1999 resulting in the temporary cancellation of its Los Angeles-Maui flights.
  • Hawaiian Airlines began Maui-Los Angeles nonstop service on March 12, 1999 using DC-10 30 aircraft.
  • The cultural theme developed for Kahului Airport was Legends of Maui: The Demigod. Enhancements to carry out the theme were completed in April 1999.  Cost: $644,001.
  • Act 91, SLH 1999, appropriated $13.7 million for design and construction of the cargo apron, taxiway & building; $100,000 for design of an extension of the existing terminal concrete hardstands; and $500,000 for Land Acquisition and Avigation Easement.
  • By the end of 1999, Kahului Airport contained 1,391 acres of land, including the Kanaha Pond National Natural Landmark, which was managed by the Fish and Wildlife Division of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Highlights of the 2000s:

  • Pacific Winds expanded its EAS service connections between Waimea and Kahului on February 1, 2000, flying seven days a week instead of six.  The new service ran Sundays from Maui to Waimea.
  • The Governor issued a news release on February 7, 2000 ordering the cancellation of further action on extending the runway at Kahului Airport.  As stated by the Governor, “Several factors—including decreased airport revenues, improved aircraft technologies and an airline industry that no longer supports the improvements—make it obvious these projects should not go forward.”
  • United Airlines replaced its DC-10s with Boeing 777 on its San Francisco-Maui flight on February 16, 2000. This meant expanded passenger and cargo capacity without requiring a longer runway.
  • Aloha Airlines began Oakland, California to Maui flights on February 28, 2000 using Boeing 737-700 aircraft.  It was the first time a twin-engine Boeing 737 had been allowed to fly such a great distance from an alternate airport.
  • Pacific Wings began two daily flights between Kahului and Lanai City on March 1, 2000.
  • TWA began daily nonstop flights from St. Louis to Maui on March 2, 2000 using Boeing 767-300 jets. This was the first non-stop flight starting east of the Rocky Mountains.
  • Island Air suspended its two daily flights between Lanai and Maui on March 2, 2000 due to a shortage of pilots.
  • ATA introduced its first Los-Angeles-Maui-Los Angeles service on May 13, 2000 that flew direct both ways with no stop in Honolulu. The new service operated on Saturdays.  The carrier operated five weekly LA-Honolulu flights, four of which went to Maui before returning via Honolulu.
  • Act 281, SLH 2000, appropriated $13.7 million for design and construction for an aviation cargo apron, taxiway and building; $100,000 for design of an extension to the existing terminal concrete hardstands; $15 million for construction of additional ticket lobbies, concessions and baggage claim facilities and system improvements; $5.2 million for construction of rental car facility modifications, Phase I.; $7.6 million for construction to relocate the hold cargo building; and $500,000 for Kahului Airport Land Acquisition and Avigation Easement.
  • Aloha Airlines began daytime airfreight service to Oahu, Maui and the Big Island on September 1, 2000.
  • Hawaiian Airlines expanded its direct service from Kahului to Los Angeles to round trips seven days a week effective October 29, 2000.  Previously the Maui-LAX route stopped over in Kona three days a week.  The Kona leg was eliminated to provide direct service.
  • The deteriorated runway and taxiway pavement of Runway 2-20 were repaired in November 2000.  Cost: $5.3 million.
  • American Airlines launched daily non-stop service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Kahului on November 22, 2000 using Boeing 767-300 jets.
  • American Airlines expanded its services to Kahului on December 15, 2000 by initiating a daily nonstop route between San Jose, California and OGG.
  • Delta Airlines discontinued service between Honolulu and Kahului on June 1, 2000.
  • Aloha Airlines added a second daily nonstop service between Orange County, California and OGG on June 1, 2000 using Boeing 737-700 aircraft.
  • Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays added another nonstop flight from San Francisco to Maui on June 16, 2001.
  • Act 259, SLH 2001, appropriated $1.6 million for design and construction of biometric security system; $2 million for design and construction of helicopter aprons and parking lot expansion; $1.4 million for design and construction of perimeter road improvements; $800,000 for design and construction of additional T-hangars; $650,000 for design and construction of new water tank; $4.6 million for design and construction of runway and taxiway extension; and $200,000 for a Roadway Study.

The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 resulted in the Federal Aviation Administration shutting down all U.S. airports for three days.  The aviation system was then incrementally restored as airport and air carriers complied with new safety and security requirements, including heightened passenger security screening.

The attacks had a major financial impact on the aviation industry, accelerating an already deteriorating financial condition for airlines.  Hawaii airports were impacted greatly with a decrease in flights and passengers.

Island Air shut down its operations at Kahului Airport in September 2001 and transferred all Maui flights to West Maui.  The company also took over some Aloha flights between Maui, Kona and Hilo.  The airline began operating 38 daily flights out of Kapalua using deHavilland Dash-8 turboprop aircraft with a capacity of 37 seats.


  • An East Ramp sewer system was constructed in October 2001.  The existing cesspools and septic tank on the East Ramp were replaced with a sewer system to comply with the latest health and environmental regulations.  Cost: $2.7 million.
  • Paragon Charters, which began offering flights to Molokai and the Big Island after Hawaiian and Aloha cut their schedules due to September 11, cut its flight schedule by 20 percent on October 1, 2001.
  • American Airlines added a second daily flight, nonstop between LAX and Maui on November 1, 2001.
  • Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act on November 19, 2001 which established the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  TSA oversees all transportation security including airport security checkpoint screening, previously managed by the airlines. As with many airports, heightened passenger security screening requirement created long lines and extended delays for passengers.  The airport worked with TSA and other agencies to minimize inconvenience to the travelling public.
  • United Airlines added a fourth daily roundtrip flight to Maui from LAX in December 2001, giving the airline a total of seven Maui flights each day (three from San Francisco).  The airline used 182-passenger Boeing 757 aircraft.
  • Hawaiian Airlines began daily service between Seattle and Maui on March 15, 2002.
  • Skyservice held its inaugural flight between Vancouver/Calgary and Kahului on December 21, 2002.
  • An upgrade of the emergency power system for the ARFF Building was completed in December 2002 at a cost of $285,000.
  • Hawaiian Airlines inaugurated service between Portland and Kahului on February 2, 2003.
  • Act 200, SLH 2003, appropriated $21.6 million for construction of a general purpose apron and ASAP building.
  • The T-hangars were repaired in April 2003 at a cost of $425,915.
  • Phase III of the statewide architectural barrier removal program was completed in July 2003 at Kahului Airport. Cost: $3.9 million.
  • Act 213, SLH 2003, appropriated $5.6 million for security measures at HNL, ITO, KOA, OGG, Molokai, Lanai and LIH out of the airport special fund. Act established one security position at OGG.
  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 4016 dated October 30, 2003 added 82.342 acres of land for an addition to Kahului Airport.
  • Act 41, SLH 2004, appropriated $12.5 million for construction of terminal improvements including additional ticket lobbies, concession and baggage claim facilities; $1 million for design of runway safety area improvements; and $20.4 million for construction of inline baggage system improvements including explosive detection systems.
  • Act 154, SLH 2004, appropriated $29,616 for one permanent plant quarantine inspector I (dog handler) position to meet the requirements of the FAA Record of Decision for Kahului Airport expansion by the Department of Agriculture.
  • Construction started in 2004 on phase 1A of ticket lobby improvements to create a more efficient lobby area and construct additional counter and baggage handling spaces.  This should enable the airport to better accommodate mainland flights.
  • In 2004 Kahului Airport was the beneficiary of a visa policy that permitted Canadian passengers on direct flights to obtain pre-clearance from immigration and customs.
  • The FAA granted authority to impose and collect passenger facility charges (PFC) at the airport on October 1, 2004. The PFC revenue was to be utilized for FAA approved projects.
  • Hawaii Island Air, Inc. relocated its operations from the commuter terminal to the main terminal in May 2005.
  • Governor’s Executive Order No. 4111 dated June 22, 2005 withdrew 22.441 acres of land from the airport and transferred it to DLNR for a baseyard according to the Tri-Party agreement of 1984.
  • Phase 1A of the terminal improvements was completed in October 2005.  Cost $3.5 million.
  • Act 160, SLH 2006, appropriated $18 million for design and construction of a new access road to the airport from Hana Highway; $10.3 million for construction of runway safety area improvements; $400,000 for plans for a noise monitoring system; $1.7 million for construction of perimeter road, security fence, etc.; $2 million for construction of site preparation for a fuel storage site; $4.1 million for plans, design and construction of heliport improvements; $18.5 million for terminal improvements including loading bridge replacement, gates, ticket lobbies, video information display system, aircraft parking; $14.3 million for Inline baggage system improvements; $4.3 million for apron and taxiway improvements fronting the new ASAP building and hold cargo building; and $1.9 million for the Airport Master Plan Update.
  • Act 295, SLH 2006, banned smoking in public places in the State of Hawaii including all airports effective November 16, 2006.
  • Phase IB of the terminal improvements was completed in September 2006.  Cost: $15.6 million.

Security issues remained a primary concern in 2006.  The TSA and the airport continued their partnership to improve the passenger checkpoint and baggage screening process without adversely impacting the passenger flow.  There were plans to reconfigure the baggage screening as well as the ticket lobby.  The baggage screening equipment located in the ticket lobby was to be relocated behind the walls and integrated with the conveyor system.  This would relieve the congestion in the ticket lobby and the baggage screening portion of the check in process will appear seamless to the passengers.


  • Act 213, SLH 2007, appropriated $13.4 million for design and construction of terminal improvements including an additional gate, loft space, conference room, family restrooms, reroofing; $22.3 million for construction of a new access road to airport from Hana Highway; $250,000 for program management of the modernization program; $1.5 million for design and construction of additional parking spaces; and $4.2 million for construction for storm water permit compliance.
  • Act 158, SLH 2008, appropriated $12.9 million for terminal improvements; $35.3 million for construction of new access road from Hana Highway; $250,000 for program management support; $17.1 million for parking lot expansion; $5.1 million for storm water permit compliance; $1 million for elevator and escalator improvements; $3.9 million for security access control and close circuit television system; and $5.9 million to reconstruct runways and taxiways.
  • Construction of the General Purpose apron and ASAP building was completed in August 2007. Cost: $23.3 million.

On March 31, 2008 Aloha Airlines, the second oldest airline in Hawaii, abruptly ceased all of its interisland and overseas flights, after declaring bankruptcy several days earlier.

Improvements to the electrical vault for the EDS integration was completed in June 2009 at a cost of $6.6 million.

  • Phase II of the runway safety area improvements were completed in January 2010.  Cost: $4.8 million.
  • Airfield lights and signs were replaced in May 2010.  Cost: $1.9 million.
  • Apron pavement structural improvements were completed in July 2010.  Cost: $17 million.
  • A dedication was held for the EDS integration improvements on June 10, 2010.  Cost: $23.8 million.

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Governor’s Executive Orders Kahului Airport

Kahului Airport Air Traffic Statistics

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