Posted on Mar 24, 2015 in Chronology


1980 (17 March)

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a new crash fire building at Keahole Airport.

1980 (20 April)

President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines arrived at Hickam AFB.

1980 (June)

Work began on construction of a new FAA Control Tower at Hickam AFB. This project was funded by the FAA.

1980 (24 July)

Dedication ceremonies were held for the new Central Concourse at HNL.

1980 (28 Nov)

The American flag which flew over Hickam during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack by the Japanese was returned to Hickam AFB from the Air Force Academy.


The new Central Concourse was opened at HNL.

1981 (6 Feb)

Korean President Chun Doo Hwan transited Hickam AFB.

1981 (6 March)

Construction started on a second 6,500 foot runway at Lihue Airport.

1981 (1 July)

Vice President and Mrs. George Bush arrived at Hickam AFB.

1981 (3 Aug)

Members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization called a nationwide strike which affected air traffic in and out of HNL. The FAA used Navy controllers and retired/former controllers to maintain normal operations at HNL; however, some airline flights were delayed and an air defense exercise was cancelled.

1981 (Dec)

Construction improvements began at Dillingham Airfield for aircraft parking aprons, taxiways, access road, T-hangars, Unicom facility and security fencing.

1982 (3 March)

A space shuttle contingency landing exercise was held at Hickam to prepare for the STS-3 flight scheduled for March 22-30, 1982.

1982 (March)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new $1 million Crash/Fire/Rescue Building at Kahului Airport which includes a crew dormitory, kitchen, office and training facility.

1982 (31 July)

The Royal Air Force Detachment closed down its operation at Hickam AFB and its two assigned personnel returned to Great Britain.

1982 (3 Sept)

An agreement was reached on Amended Exhibit One of the State’s Airport-Airline Lease. These documents established the charges for the airlines using the State’s airport system and required signatory airlines to meet the difference between system revenues and expenses through use charges.

1982 (14 Sept)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Diamond Head Extension of the Main Terminal at HNL.

1982 (11 Nov)

The Honolulu Fueling Facilities Corporation announced that they had purchased Texaco, Shell and Union fueling facilities at the airport and on the Sand Island Access Road. They also announced a joint-financing venture with the Hawaiian Independent Refinery.

1982 (23 Nov)

Hurricane Iwa hit Oahu and Kauai with winds of up to 85 mph.  Electrical power was out for several days on both islands and HNL operated on emergency power for a few hours. Flight service was interrupted for a day as aircraft were diverted to Hilo during the storm.


A groundbreaking ceremony was held at HNL for South Ramp Development, Phase I of the realignment of Lagoon Drive which will maximize land use and promote development of aviation-related support activities.

1983 (5 Jan)

United Airlines commenced direct daily service from the Mainland to Kahului Airport.

1983 (15 March)

The Aero Club moved part of its flying operation from Wheeler AFB to Hickam AFB to make it more accessible to interested people.

1983 (1 April)

A space shuttle emergency landing exercise was the most comprehensive and realistic to date, preparing Hickam personnel for STS-6, the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

1983 (7 Sept)

United Airlines commenced direct daily service from the Mainland to Keahole Airport. This was the first direct flight to Keahole and signified the emergence of the Kona and Kohala areas on the Big Island as a resort destination.

1983 (5 Dec)

Construction began on the Air Cargo Building at Kahului Airport.


Construction began on the Diamond Head extension to the HNL Main Terminal.  The $18.3 million project included 10 baggage claim areas, 19 check-in stations, the latest in energy saving devices, security equipment, signs, and landscaping.


A new $975,000 Crash Fire and Rescue building was completed at Kahului Airport.


A telecommunications system for the deaf was installed at Kahului Airport to better accommodate handicapped and disabled persons.


The $3.2 million of improvements at Dillingham Field were completed. The project included construction of a tower, aircraft parking aprons, taxiways, access road, T-hangars, Unicom facility and security fencing.  The airfield can now provide long-term basing for sail planes and aircraft up to 12,500 pounds.


A cargo building and fire station were completed at Kahului Airport.

1984 (22 April)

President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, and Secretary of State and Mrs. George Schultz arrived at Hickam AFB.

1984 (26 April)

A dedication ceremony was held for the new $13.3 million, 6,500-foot runway 17-35 at Lihue Airport to reduce aircraft noise levels and to provide additional airfield capacity.

1984 (23 May)

A $6.7 million Air Traffic Control Tower was put into service at HNL by the FAA.

1984 (24 May)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Lihue Airport Terminal Complex.

1984 (23 June)

A dedication ceremony was held for the new $6.7 million FAA Air Traffic Control Tower at HNL.

1984 (Aug)

The first direct commercial flight from the mainland (Los Angeles) to Lihue arrived by United Airlines.

1984 (16 Nov)

HNL and Hickam AFB personnel responded when a United Airlines 747 jet blew two tires on the Reef Runway.  37 people were injured while sliding down the aircraft’s emergency exit chutes.

1985 (4 March)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Pacific Aerospace Museum located at HNL’s main overseas terminal on the second level of the Central Concourse.

1985 (May)

Construction of a new maintenance Baseyard at Lihue Airport was completed.

1985 (July)

Construction of a ground transportation subdivision was completed at Lihue Airport.

1985 (Oct)

Aloha Airlines began night cargo flights to the neighbor islands.

1985 (22 Nov)

Pan American World Airways observed the 50th Anniversary of its first flight across the Pacific.  Soon after Pan Am announced the sale of its Pacific routes to United Airlines.

1985 (22 Nov)

Air Hawaii made an inaugural flight to Honolulu, and then filed for bankruptcy in February 1986. Its last flight was on February 19, 1986.

1985 (14 Dec)

Western Airlines initiated service to Kahului, Maui.


Three interisland air carriers were consolidated at the Interisland Terminal complex at HNL.

1986 (Feb)

The Overseas Terminal Access Roadway at HNL was completed.  It made it more convenient for overseas travelers with a viaduct connecting the Airport Interchange to the Overseas Terminal.

1986 (19 March)

The second level bypass link between the H-1 Freeway Interchange and the Overseas Terminal building opened.

1986 (26 April)

Pan American closed all operations in Honolulu except for its daily around the world flight.

1986 (30 April)

World Airways ceased operations.

1986 (30 April)

Maui Airlines ceased its service.

1986 (22 May)

Royal Hawaiian Air Service ceased operations.

1986 (1 June)

TWA reinitiated service to Hawaii.

1986 (22 Oct)

The $23 million Diamond Head Extension to the Main Terminal at HNL was completed. This project added 660,000 square feet of Ticket Lobby and Baggage Claim area with a tour group arrivals area.

1986 (26 Nov)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for Interisland Terminal No. 3 at HNL.  The terminal will have a total area of 66,000 square feet and will provide 14 check-in counter spaces, aircraft access hold rooms, a restaurant lounge facility adjacent to the waiting lobby, operation and administrative office space for Hawaiian Airlines; and a baggage claim area featuring two high-capacity belt claim devices.

1986 (18 Dec)

A new tour group arrivals area for international groups was dedicated on the Ewa end of the Main Terminal at HNL.


Princeville Airways initiated service to Waimea-Kohala Airport.

1987 (15 Jan)

A dedication was held for the new $3.2 million Commuter Terminal at Kahului Airport which could accommodate eight commuter operators and their aircraft.

1987 (Feb)

Construction was completed for a new restaurant and snack bar at Lihue Airport.

1987 (25 Feb)

A dedication ceremony was held for the new $36 million terminal at Lihue Airport.  The airport became operational the next day serving the three interisland carriers—Aloha, Hawaiian and Mid-Pacific—and the overseas carrier, United.

1987 (1 March)

Kapalua Airport in West Maui opened for commuter service operated by Hawaiian Airlines.

1987 (June)

A project to enlarge the South Ramp at HNL and realign Lagoon Drive entered its second phase.  The project doubled the available space for hangars and cargo terminals.

1987 (26 June)

A dedication was held for the new Diamond Head Extension Group Tour Facility at HNL.

1987 (19 Oct)

A ceremony was held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of John Rodgers Terminal at HNL.  Employees with 25 years of service at the airport were recognized.

1988 (13 Jan)

An electrical short circuit caused a fire in the passenger terminal building at Waimea-Kohala Airport with damaged estimated at $100,000 to the structure, primarily confined to the ticket counter area.

1988 (5 Feb)

HDOT Airports Division received the highest bid in the world for a Duty Free Concession when Duty Free Shoppers agreed to pay $1.15 billion to the Airport Revenue Fund for a five year contract.

1988 (1 June)

A dedication ceremony was held for Interisland Terminal 3 at HNL. Built at a cost of $23.3 million, the terminal was opened for service on June 2.

1988 (30 June)

At the end of Fiscal Year 1988, The HDOT Airports Division had $305 million in retained earnings available.

1988 (14 July)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new terminal at Kahului Airport.

1988 (Aug)

Construction began to expand facilities on the South Ramp and ground transportation lease lots at Keahole Airport.

1988 (Sept)

Construction began for a new overseas terminal building and extension of the runway at Keahole Airport.

1988 (Sept)

An underground fuel tank and dispenser were installed at Dillingham Field.

1988 (16 Nov)

The Menehune program was started to help tourists and residents find their way through construction detours and improvements at HNL and Kahului Airports.

1988 (2 Dec)

The Terminal at Lihue Airport was dedicated in honor of Richard A. Kawakami, late Speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives.

1988 (15 Dec)

The Visa Waiver Pilot program began at HNL.

1988 (16 Dec)

A dedication ceremony was held at Kahului Airport for the new FAA Air Traffic Control Tower.


A total of 5.8 acres of land was purchased from the U.S. General Services Administration to allow for the expansion of the South Ramp at HNL.


Aloha and Hawaiian Airlines halted merger talks.


Design work for the Col. Elison Onizuka Memorial at Keahole Airport started with a $75,000 appropriation by the Legislature.

1989 (31 March)

Aloha Friday was initiated at HNL where each Friday hula dancers and musicians welcome passengers with Hawaiian music.

1989 (April)

The realignment of the Service Road at Lihue Airport and utility improvements were completed.  This also involved the realignment of Ahukini Road.

1989 (May)

The Reef Runway at HNL was chosen as one of several emergency landing sites for the Space Shuttle. The National Aerouautics and Space Administration and Army Corps of Engineers installed navigational and landing aids.

1989 (May)

The Hawaii State Legislature changed the name of General Lyman Field to Hilo International Airport. The Hilo Terminal remains named for Brigadier General Albert Kualii B. Lyman, a descendent of missionaries and native Hawaiians who was Honolulu District Engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers in 1941 and 1942. Lyman attended both Kamehameha and Punahou Schools and graduated from West Point, along with two brothers. At one time all three brothers were stationed in Hawaii as lieutenants.

1989 (17 May)

Inaugural flight to HNL from Manchester, England.

1989 (16 June)

Japan Air System Inaugural flight to HNL.

1989 (3 Nov)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Onizuka Space Center at Keahole Airport.

1989 (16 Nov)

American West held its inaugural flight to HNL.

1989 (22 Nov)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Interisland Terminal at HNL.


The Airports Division installed a 24-hour toll-free telephone line to respond to public inquiries relating to aircraft incidents statewide.