Aviation in Hawaii kicked off with a balloonist, saw Hawaii's first airplane flight in 1910 and ended with the purchase of Ford Island by the War Department.
Read More 1879-1919
Navy Commander John Rodgers' first trans-Pacific flight from San Francisco to Hawaii, was followed by successful flights by the Army and civilians. Work continued on new airfields, and Inter-Island Airlines launched commercial interisland passenger service.
Read More 1920-1929
Aviation grew during the 1930s with the trans-Pacific flights of Amelia Earhart and Charles Kingsford Smith, the introduction of Pan American Airways into the islands, the construction of new airfields by the military, and the continued improvements to John Rodgers Field.
Read More 1930-1939
World War II affected aviation in Hawaii forever. The military took over all airfields in the Territory after December 7, 1941 and improved the airfield and built new facilities at major fields. After the War the airports were returned to the Territory and commercial aviation resumed. New airlines entered the interisland and trans-Pacific markets. John Rodgers Field was renamed Honolulu Airport.
Read More 1940-1949
Increased commercial air travel and the Korean War Airlift placed major stresses on the terminal facilities at Honolulu Airport and plans were begun for a new terminal on the North side of the airport. A new terminal at Lihue opened. The first jet service came to Hawaii.
Read More 1950-1959
A new Hawaii Department of Transportation was formed as Statehood was implemented. A new terminal was constructed at Honolulu International Airport (HNL). It soon proved too small and additional facilities began construction. A search was begun for a new general aviation airport on Oahu. A joint-use agreement was made between Hickam AFB and HNL. A new jet runway was added at Hilo Airport. New terminals were underway at Kona and Molokai.
Read More 1960-1969
The state leased Ford Island for general aviation. A new terminal at Keahole was dedicated. Jumbo jet service was initiated at Honolulu International. The Reef Runway was constructed at HNL. Airport facilities continued to be upgraded statewide to meet the travel demand of the public. The FAA instituted a new security program.
Read More 1970-1979
Construction work continued at all state airports to expand facilities to meet the public's travel demands. Hurricane Iwa affected Lihue and Honolulu airports. United Airlines began direct daily service to Kahului and Keahole Airports from the Mainland. Others followed. The FAA dedicated a new Air Traffic Control Tower at HNL. Pan American celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first flight across the Pacific, and soon thereafter announced the sale of its Pacific routes to United Airlines. A new Lihue Airport Terminal was dedicated. New carriers continued to enter and leave the Hawaii market.
Read More 1980-1989
Maui's new terminal was dedicated at Kahului. Planning began for a new International Terminal at HNL. The Persian Gulf War caused airports to operate at FAA Security Level 4 which restricted access to terminal interiors. Passenger travel began to decline. Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai and affected all state airports. The new Interisland Terminal at HNL was dedicated. Runways were extended, new facilities were built at all airports. New carriers continued to enter and leave the market. The former Barbers Point Naval Air Station was acquired by the state as a reliever airport for HNL and for general aviation.
Read More 1990-1999
Aviation changed drastically on September 11, 2001 after the terrorist attack on the United States. All aircraft was grounded for three days and airlines drastically reduced their flight schedules. The Transportation Security Administration was established to oversee security at all U.S. airports. A number of airlines went into bankruptcy. The CIP program at state airports was cut to reflect the near 20 percent decline in passengers. By 2004, slight increases in passengers and flights were recorded.
Read More 2000-2009

Terms & Conditions

Please read the following Terms & Conditions of Use carefully before using this website. You are required to expressly accept the following Terms and Conditions of Use, without any modifications, prior to each use of this website. The State of Hawaii Department of Transportation Airport Division (the “HDOTA”) may revise the Terms and Conditions of Use without any specific notice to you. The Terms and Conditions of Use posted at the time of your use of this website governs that use. If you do not agree with any part of the following Terms and Conditions of Use, you will not be permitted to use this website.

The images and other content, (the “Media”), on this site,, are protected under applicable intellectual property laws. Unless otherwise stated, intellectual property rights in the website are administered by HDOTA on behalf of itself and the State of Hawaii.


You are prohibited from using the Media for any commercial purpose. Any use, whether or not commercial, that may tend to degrade, tarnish the reputation of, or embarrass the content creator (photographer, videographer etc.), the State of Hawaii, or HDOTA is strictly prohibited.


The following are general examples of what Media may not be used for or in connection with. The following list is not exhaustive.

  • Taking or attempting to take Media for commercial, marketing, self-promotion, or novelty applications;
  • Taking or attempting to take any action that results in editing or altering images -cropping is acceptable;
  • Taking or attempting to take any action that compromises the website;
  • Taking or attempting to take any action that involves reprinting on coffee table books, garments, posters, mugs, or any medium.

You agree that, upon notice from HDOTA, you will immediately cease all use of the Media and, to the extent possible, remove all Media from any and all materials in which they appear.

Credit is required for each of the Media as specified on this website. Credit must be placed adjacent to any use of the Media.

You, your successors and assigns, agree to release, indemnify and defend HDOTA and the State of Hawaii from and against all costs, liability, loss, damage, and expense, including all attorneys’ fees, and all claims, suits, and demands therefor, arising out of or resulting from your acts or omissions under these Terms & Conditions of Use and your use of the Media.