Posted on Mar 24, 2015 in Chronology


1960 (March)

United Airlines initiated jet service with Douglas DC-8 aircraft.

1960 (4 May)

Ground breaking was held for the Hawaii Air National Guard fighter complex at Hickam AFB.  Completion was expected in July 1961 at a cost of $1.847 million.

1960 (22 May)

The entire Hawaiian Island chain was put on alert for a possible tsunami.  Bellows was evacuated, aircraft moved to higher ground north of Runway 8 or to Wheeler. Hickam received the full force of the tsunami.

1960 (14 June)

King Bhumibal of Thailand and Queen Sirikit arrived at Hickam AFB.

1960 (19 June)

President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited Hawaii, landing at Hickam AFB.

1960 (16 Sept)

Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko of Japan departed Hickam AFB.

1960 (30 Sept)

The first MATS jet flight to Hickam AFB arrived from the West Coast.  Flying time in the Boeing 707 was reduced by 3 hours.

1960 (7 Dec)

The first 10 of 29 F-102 Delta Dagger aircraft, replacing F-86s of the Hawaii Air National Guard arrived.


There was a flurry of construction activity at HNL and an overtaxing of the old facilities on the South Ramp. There were a total of 262,596 operations. Total passengers handled: 1,535,262.

1960 (31 Dec)

Commercial passenger traffic increased 33.3 percent in 1960.

1961 (13 Jan)

Use of Dillingham AFB by privately owned aircraft was the subject of a meeting due to concerns about the increasing hazards of air traffic at HNL. When privately owned Kipapa airstrip was converted to housing, the military was approached for use of Wheeler or Bellows. This was not considered feasible by the military so Dillingham AFB was offered instead and a proposed lease negotiated.

1961 (9 May)

Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mrs. Johnson stopped at Hickam AFB en route to Southeast Asia.

1961 (30 June)

There were 35 aircraft assigned to PACAFBASECOM: 9 C-470s, 2 C-54Ds, 2 54Es, 1 VC-54G, 18 T-33As, 2 C-118As and 1 C-121A.

1961 (1 July)

The Department of Transportation officially took over all functions previously managed by the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission.  The Airports Division was organized as the successor of the HAC.  It was organized into Districts, originally analogous to the Counties of the State and was headed by a Division Staff.  The Hawaii District included General Lyman Field, Kona, Kamuela and Upolu Airports.  The Maui District included Kahului, Hana, Molokai, Kalaupapa and Lanai Airports.  Oahu District administered Honolulu International. Airport and some aspects of Dillingham Field.  Kauai District managed Lihue and Port Allen Airports.

1961 (28 Oct)

President Urho K. Kekkonen of Finland arrived at HNL and was escorted to Hickam AFB.

1961 (21 Nov)

Lt. Gen. Chung Hee Park, Chairman of the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction, Korea, arrived at Hickam AFB.

1961 (Dec)

The new Hawaii Air National Guard (HANG) complex was completed and consisted of 60 acres.  The land was originally part of Fort Kamehameha and had been acquired in 1960 by permit from the U.S. Army to the U.S. Air Force.

1962 (1 July)

The Hawaii Visitors Program was established to welcome visitors, encourage travel to all islands and to provide information to travelers.

1962 (22 July)

The Empress of Lima, a four-engine Britania jet turboprop aircraft crashed and burned while making an approach to the Hickam end of Runway 8. Twenty-seven persons died and 13 survived the worst air carrier accident in Hawaii.

1962 (22 Aug)

The new John Rodgers Terminal was dedicated on August 22, 1962 by the State of Hawaii, the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, and the president of United Air Lines. In honor of the occasion, Pan American Airways delayed its Flight 843 from San Francisco 50 minutes so as to be the first arrival at the new terminal.  The project cost $38 million.

1962 (6 Oct)

Project Mercury astronaut Commander Walter M. Schirra Jr., accompanied by all seven original astronauts except Alan B. Sheppard, arrived with debriefing teams at Hickam AFB following the six-orbit manned flight made on October 3, 1962 and recovered 165 miles northeast of Midway.

1962 (14 Oct)

Overseas operations at the old HNL terminal on the South Ramp ceased at midnight.


Prior to 1962 the major source of operating revenue for the Airport Special Fund was the aviation fuel tax.  Although landing fees were collected, the amounts were very small ranging from a high of $2 for aircraft weighing more than 27,000 pounds down to a minimum of $0.25 for aircraft under 5,000 pounds.


Additions were made to Lihue Airport’s terminal and hangars were erected.

1962 (1 April)

The naval station at Ford Island was decommissioned.

1963 (19 March)

A drinking water system was completed at Hana Airport, so water no longer had to be trucked in.

1963 (3 April)

A Joint Use Agreement between Hickam AFB and Honolulu International Airport, was signed by Brig. Gen. John A. Rouse, Commander, PACAFBASECOM; and Dr. Fujio Matsuda, Director of Transportation for the State of Hawaii.  It specified that for the purpose of overall aerial and ground operations, Hickam AFB and HNL comprised a single airport complex.

1963 (24 April)

The first phase of a new jet runway at General Lyman Field was completed.

1963 (30 June)

The Annual Report to the Governor calls HNL the Crossroads of the Pacific and says it was the ninth busiest airport in the United States in terms of air operations. Military air operations had risen to 125,000 in 1960 and were 41 percent of the total of 304,113.

The Annual Report also pointed out the need for a general aviation reliever airport somewhere near central Oahu because the 94,000 general aviation air operations were conflicting with air carrier use of HNL.

The report also mentioned a continuing need for a seaward jet runway which was needed because military fuel tanker aircraft were making noisy and dangerous takeoffs over Honolulu.

The Airports Division Balance Sheet of June 30, 1963 showed assets of $90.9 million and a fund balance of $51.2 million.

1963 (30 June)

Work was completed on additions to the new HNL Terminal, the Ramp Control Tower, Aloha Airlines lounges and an office building.  Other improvements were additions to Ramp Building 4, construction of taxiways and aprons, construction of new lei vendor stands, landscaping, construction of elevated walkways and ground level holding rooms, installation of a paging system, hangar construction, repair of operational areas and service roads, and the construction of a cargo building. A contract was let to destroy the old terminal building.

1963 (1 July)

The Visitor’s Information Program was incorporated into the Airports Division.

1963 (8 July)

President John F. Kennedy visited Hawaii landing at HNL.

1963 (19 Aug)

Successful negotiations between the State and military resulted in a five-year revocable agreement permitting the general public to use 46.1 acres along a one-mile stretch of Bellows Beach.

1963 (2 Nov)

An all-weather instrument runway was opened at Kahului Airport, making Kahului the first Neighbor Island airport to have all-weather instrument landing capability.

1963 (Dec)

Pan American Airways initiated jet service to Tahiti from Honolulu.


A master lease was signed with the major airlines present in Hawaii. This document would guide landing fees, leasing fees and support charges for more than 30 years. Leases were granted to: Aloha Airlines, British Overseas Airways Corp., Canadian Pacific Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, Pan American World Airways, Philippine Air Lines, Qantas Empire Airways and United Air Lines.  The term of the Airport-Airline lease was for 20 years with two five-year options to extend the lease.  The purpose of the Lease negotiations was the concept of airport financing by landing fees to replace the aviation fuel tax.  The landing fee was called the Airport Use Charge.  The fees were to be renegotiated every five years.  The plan provided that interisland airlines would pay a reduced airport use charge which was 9 percent of the Airport Use Charge collected from overseas carriers.  Fuel taxes paid by the carrier were credited against the airport use charge.

1964 (13 Feb)

A near catastrophe occurred at General Lyman Field.  After landing, an interisland aircraft rolled off the end of the runway, across the road and into a ditch, causing minor injuries to the passengers and a wrecked airplane.

1964 (30 June)

By June 30, night flights had been inaugurated by both Aloha and Hawaiian Airlines.

1964 (30 June)

The Annual Report for FY 1963-­1964 again pointed out the need for a general aviation reliever airport.  Pressure was applied by the community to have a seaward runway constructed for noise abatement and to eliminate potential hazards from heavily laden tankers taking off over downtown Honolulu.  The PACAFBASECOM Commander’s position was that the Air Force could not justify financing such a seaward runway since the existing 12,600-foot runway adequately met operational needs.

1964 (31 Dec)

In 1964, HNL handled 144,697 air operations which amounted to 49 percent of total air operations in the state.


Both Runways 4L and 4R at HNL were resurfaced and a barrier arresting system was installed at the departure end of Runway 8 so as to provide a capability to save a fighter aircraft with takeoff or landing problems.

1965 (6 March)

A dedication ceremony was held for the new 9,800 foot jet runway 8-26 at General Lyman Field.

1965 (15 Sept)

Demolition of the old terminal building at HNL was completed.

1966 (5 Feb)

President Lyndon B. Johnson arrived at HNL with his cabinet and advisors for a summit meeting with Vietnamese officials and key military leaders.

1966 (16 March)

Gemini 8 astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott arrived at Hickam AFB from Okinawa following successful completion of their flight. They were accompanied by Astronaut Walter Schirra and NASA officials.

1966 (9 June)

A new crash fire building was dedicated at HNL.

1966 (25 June)

A new terminal building, designed by Vladimir Ossipoff and Associates, was dedicated at Kahului Airport.

1966 (30 June)

The State of Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division had supervision over 20 construction projects with a total cost of $2.7 million.

1966 (8 July)

A strike against United and Northwest Airlines caused reduced traffic for 43 days. Pan American took care of some of the stranded passengers. The Red Cross furnished cots and blankets and as many as 200 people were sleeping in the terminal at various times.

1966 (16 Oct)

A dedication was held at Lanai Airport for the extension of the runway, resurfacing and widening of the existing runway, construction of taxiway and apron and a new terminal building as well as the relocation of the existing freight terminal building.  Cost was $817,000.

1966 (18 Oct)

President Lyndon B. Johnson arrived at Hickam AFB en route to a conference with President Ferdinand Marcos in Manila.

1966 (Nov)

Planning was underway to prepare HNL for new and larger jet planes such as the stretch out (DC-8-61) and the 747.


Five thousand feet of the pavement of Runway 8L was rehabilitated, including 2,000 feet of Hickam’s portion.


Members of the Chinese Community donated a statue of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, founder of the Republic of China and a resident of Hawaii for many years. This statue was appropriately placed in the Chinese Garden.


The airlines dropped their lawsuit against the HDOT’s Airport Division’s master planning initiative.

1967 (19 March)

President Lyndon B. Johnson stopped at Hickam AFB en route to Guam.

1967 (April)

A new taxiway and apron project was completed at General Lyman Field to prepare the airport for jet traffic.

1967 (April)

President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Hawaii twice during April.

1967 (1 Oct)

Pan American World Airways and United Airlines started jet flights to Hilo on the extended 9,800 foot runway.

1967 (9 Nov)

The Apollo orbital spacecraft capsule, after recovery by the USS Bennington near Hawaii, was transferred to Hickam AFB for return to the Mainland in a special NASA cargo plane.

1967 (Dec)

More than 4,000 aircraft were arriving and departing monthly at Hickam AFB from Southeast Asia.

1968 (27 June)

Kaanapali Airport opened to private planes.

1968 (30 June)

The HDOT assumed full responsibility for all state airport projects.  Previously, responsibility was shared with the Department of Accounting and General Services.

1968 (18 July)

President Lyndon B. Johnson and President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam arrived at Hickam AFB for meetings.

1968 (Nov)

Work began on a temporary overseas building at General Lyman Field.

1968 (Dec)

Preliminary study of a proposed reef runway was prepared by the State to expand airport facilities to handle the approximately 8.3 million passengers expected by 1985.

1968 (27 Dec)

The first men to circle the moon—Apollo 8 astronauts Air Force Col. Frank Borman, Navy Capt. James A. Lovell Jr. and Air Force Major William A. Anders–arrived at Hickam AFB en route to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.  They set foot on American soil for the first time since their lift off from Florida. Apollo 8 splashed down at 1051 on December 27, 1968 about 1,000 miles southwest of Hawaii to conclude the historic lunar orbit mission.


The stretched DC-8-61 was put into service and Pan American World Airways announced plans to place the 400 passenger Boeing 747 into service by 1970.

1968 (30 April)

Act 20, of the 1968 Session of the Legislature was enacted to clarify Legislative intent to grant the HDOT authority to establish landing fees by rules and regulations.

1968 (15 June)

HNL received a five-story pagoda from the people of Hiroshima for display in the Japanese Garden in commemoration of Japanese immigration to Hawaii.

1968 (18 Dec)

The Civil Aeronautics Board awarded Northwest, Pan American and United Airlines additional routes to Hawaii. New carriers American, Braniff, Continental, Trans-World and Western Airlines were also awarded routes to Hawaii.


The Air Force shut down its portion of Runway 8L at HNL to place a 75 foot wide concrete keel during major reconstruction. This took 25 days.


Intensive planning continued for additions to the HNL Terminal to be able to take Jumbo Jets. Baggage claim and hold rooms in the existing terminal were enlarged. The Ralph M. Parsons Company was hired to manage design and construction of an anticipated $100 million of improvements necessary for HNL to be able to efficiently handle Jumbo Jets.


The Pacific Aerospace Museum placed its first exhibit, an F-86 Sabrejet, of Korean War vintage, in the garden area of HNL near the Customs Building.

1969 (Jan)

A common fare package was conceived which would allow visits to four islands for $5 for each intermediate leg and a free turn-around leg. This air travel stimulation package was well-intended by the airlines but did not last long.

1969 (Jan-June)

Expansion of HNL continued, with Lagoon Drive (airport perimeter road) moved to make room for the extension of Runway 4R-22L, and construction of additional parking spaces, an air taxi wing, and interisland terminal.  In addition, a hydraulic model of the proposed reef runway was built to investigate water pollution, tidal wave possibilities, and impact on Hickam Harbor.

1969 (7 March)

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the start of construction on the Diamond Head Gull Wing at HNL which will be able to accommodate the Boeing 747.

1969 (2 May)

Vice President Spiro T. Agnew and Secretary of State William P. Rogers landed at Hickam AFB.

1969 (27 May)

Keahole was selected as the new site of the airport to replace Kona Airport. Construction began on May 27 when a ceremonial 1,000-pound dynamite charge was exploded on the lava beds.

1969 (May)

Terminal expansion work began at Molokai Airport.

1969 (7 June)

President Richard M. Nixon visited Hickam AFB prior to going to Midway.

1969 (30 June)

Fiscal year 1968-69, which ended on June 30, 1969 resulted in a 13.5 percent increase in overseas passengers to three million and a 16.5 percent increase in interisland passengers to 2.2 million statewide.

1969 (30 June)

Airports Division had supervision over $28,580,646 in airport construction projects.  Contracts underway were worth $1.9 million and contracts completed during the previous year were $3.86 million.

1969 (4 July)

The $775,000 overseas interim terminal at General Lyman Field was dedicated.  This building was to give relief until construction of a complete new terminal could be built.

1969 (26 July)

The Apollo 11 crew, America’s first men on the moon, was encased in a mobile quarantine facility which passed through Hickam AFB en route to Houston.

1969 (Aug)

Terminal expansion at Molokai Airport was completed, resulting in space for the new snack bar concession and covered loading on the terminal’s curbside.

1969 (28 Nov)

Apollo 12 astronauts passed through Hickam AFB enroute back to Houston after moon flight.

1969 (2 Dec)

The last C-124 aircraft departed Hickam AFB, and all future movements were to be by C-141 or other jet aircraft.


Momentum was building at HNL to accept B747 aircraft and their increased passenger loads which were estimated to be from 397 to 490 passengers per aircraft, compared to 251 for the DC-8-63 and 155 for the B707.

1969 (17 July)

At HNL the foundations for the Diamond Head Gull Wing were started and the first gate position for a B747 was to be ready by March 1, 1970. It was expected that five new large aircraft gates and nine new aircraft hardstands would be needed by the end of 1970.

1969 (March)

A five-level parking garage was under construction at HNL to be able to hold 2,000 vehicles by the end of 1969.

1969 (March)

Negotiations with the Air Force for use of Bellows Field for general aviation continued.

1969 (26 Nov)

The Governor approved renaming Kamuela Airport as Waimea-Kohala Airport.


The television show Hawaii Five-0 was filming at HNL.


The Honolulu Fuels Subcommittee formed the Honolulu Fueling Facilities Corporation with financial commitments from 12 air carriers and from Lockheed Air Terminal, Inc. The corporation arranged for lease of the hydrant fueling system at HNL and hired LAT as the manager of the fuel storage and hydrant fuel system.