About This Site

The concept for this site grew out of the dream of Benjamin R. Schlapak, Oahu District Manager, Airports Division, Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) and Honolulu International Airport manager, to share and preserve the illustrious history of aviation in Hawaii and the impact that Hawaii aviation had in stimulating the growth of air travel in the United States. The daring aviators who made the first trans-Pacific flights were the catalyst for over-ocean flying and the development of commercial air travel. They also forever changed the economy and face of the Hawaiian Islands.

In 2006, the historic aviation project was turned over to Marilyn Kali, the HDOT’s Director of Public Affairs for more than 20 years, and currently the historian for Honolulu International Airport.

For more than four years Mrs. Kali located and scanned thousands of photos from the archives of the HDOT, the Hawaii State Archives, Hickam Air Force Base, U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, U.S. Navy History Center, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and private collectors who made their photo collections available. Along the way, she also collected numerous stories, newspaper articles and magazine clippings about early aviation in Hawaii which you will also find on this site.

You’ll also find information taken from the minutes of the Territorial Aeronautical Commission, the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission, and the Aviation Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, which detail the efforts to support aviation in hopes of increasing tourism and improving the business climate in Hawaii.

The first result of the research was the publishing of the book Gateway to the Pacific, Honolulu International Airport, The First 80 Years 1927-2007 on the 80th anniversary of HNL on March 21, 2007.

On this historic aviation website we have posted the thousands of photos and articles that were collected during this project. The photos are presented in high resolution format so that when downloaded they provide quality prints. Unless a photo credit is given, we do not know who the photographer was. If you were the photographer for one of the photos and would like a photo credit, please contact us.

If you have photographs, documents or stories that you would like to contribute to the site, please contact us. We will continue to add to the site as information becomes available.

If you would like more information about this site, contact us at [email protected].