Posted on Mar 24, 2015 in Chronology


1990 (16 Jan)

A dedication ceremony held for the new perimeter road at Kahului Airport.

1990 (15 March)

A dedication ceremony held for the new cargo facilities on the South Ramp at HNL.

1990 (17 Oct)

A dedication ceremony was held at Kahului Airport for the new terminal.  Two phases of the new terminal were opened with loading bridges.  Construction started on the third phase of the terminal.

1990 (30 Nov)

A Groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new maintenance facility at Molokai Airport.


A massive amount of planning began for a new International Terminal and People Mover for HNL. Consultants began concepts and designs for a $600 million arrivals and departures facility and $240 million people mover. The need for the new International Arrivals Building was driven by a 20 percent increase in international arrivals, primarily from Japan, between 1988 and 1989. Gate holds and long processing times through Immigration and Customs were unpopular.


A large HNL air cargo complex was planned for Ualena Street Makai and 24 acres of land was acquired.


Twenty three acres of land was acquired from the Air Force for a new interisland maintenance area at HNL.


The first two phases of the South Ramp, HNL and Lagoon Drive Improvements were completed and work started on the third phase.


Discovery Airways initiated interisland service using BAE 146 aircraft.

1991 (17 Jan)

The Persian Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, from January 17, 1991 to February 28, 1991 caused state airports to operate at FAA Security Level Four which restricted access to terminal interiors.

1991 (1 Feb)

America West held its inaugural flight to HNL.

1991 (8 Feb)

Construction began on the last phase of the New Terminal Building at Kahului Airport, along with widening of Keolani Place to four lanes.

1991 (14 March)

A dedication ceremony was held for the new cargo, commuter and interim helicopter facilities at Lihue Airport.

1991 (26 April)

A dedication ceremony was held for Runway 3-21 at Lihue Airport.  The runway was  widened and extended to 6,500 feet.

1991 (3 June)

Japan Air System held its inaugural flight to HNL.

1991 (11 June)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the realignment and widening of the runway at Kalaupapa Airport.

1991 (July)

Construction began on the HNL Overseas Terminal Hardstands, Phase 1 at the cost of $9 million.  The new hardstands are for the Ewa Wing.

1991 (1 July)

Japan Air Charter held its inaugural flight to HNL.

1991 (19 July)

The Onizuka Space Center was dedicated at Keahole Airport.

1991 (31 July)

A dedication ceremony was held for the new Lei Stands at HNL.

1991 (Sept)

Construction began on a new access road to the new Post Office at Lihue Airport.

1991 (6 Nov)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the construction of Gates 31-34 (Phase I) at HNL.

1991 (6 Dec)

A dedication ceremony was held at HNL for the Pacific Aerospace Museum, Phase II.


International arrival processing at HNL was improved by adding additional U.S. Immigration inspectors and improving facilities.


Construction proceeded on the New Interisland Terminal at HNL.

1992 (21 Feb)

A dedication ceremony was held for the New Terminal Building at Kahului Airport.

1992 (March)

Construction at HNL was completed to provide improvements to Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Station 2, including a boat house and new fire training facility. Construction started on the replacement of Fire Station 1.

1992 (13 March)

A dedication ceremony for the new Civil Air Patrol Facility at Keahole Airport was held.

1992 (24 April)

A dedication ceremony was held for the new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting station at HNL.  The $4.6 million, 13,328 square foot facility includes an exercise room, large kitchen facility, training room, and individual bunk rooms.

1992 (April)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new $450,000, 4,000-square foot cargo building at Lanai Airport

1992 (June)

Repair work began on Runways 2-20 and 5-23 and taxiways at Kahului Airport at a cost of $2.5 million.

1992 (3 June)

Phase two of the Pacific Aerospace Museum Project was dedicated with six new interactive computer displays and a multi-media theater.

1992 (5 June)

A new $1.7 million Baseyard Facility was dedicated at Molokai Airport

1992 (19 Aug)

A dedication ceremony was held at Kalaupapa Airport to celebrate the completion of repairs and improvements to the airport.

1992 (11 Sept)

Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai on September 11, 1992 with winds of more than 100 miles an hour and gusting to 160 m.p.h. The hurricane affected all State airports for two days as aircraft were stored at Hilo Airport.  Five million dollars of damage was done to Lihue Airport and regular interisland flights were discontinued for two weeks while National Guard and State emergency units attempted to restore power.  C-5 Aircraft unloaded telephone poles on taxiways. Seven thousand tourists were evacuated from the island within two days after the storm and 1,000 more on the third day.  The tremendous damage on Kauai affected the tourist industry on that island for a decade.

1992 (17 Nov)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new terminal building at Lanai Airport.

1992 (21 Nov)

Lufthansa flew an Airbus 340 direct from Frankfurt to Honolulu in 15 hours as a demonstration of a direct tourist connection to Europe.

1992 (25 Nov)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the extension of the main runway at Keahole Airport from 6,500 feet to 11,000 feet.


General aviation facilities on the South Ramp, HNL were completed including 81 T-hangar spaces, tie downs and transient aircraft parking.


Federal Express, United Parcel Service and American International Cargo were building air cargo facilities on the HNL South Ramp.


Circle Rainbow Aviation proposed plans to build a $5 million hangar and office building for air tours.


A new International Terminal capable of handling 4,000 passengers per hour was being designed to make Honolulu the premier international gateway to the United States from the Pacific Rim.

1993 (11 Jan)

The Aviation Education Resource Center was dedicated at HNL.

1993 (Feb)

The HDOT Airports Division moved its offices from above Gates 29-31 to the seventh level of the new Interisland Terminal Building.

1993 (1 April)

Kapalua West Maui Airport was purchased by the State from Hawaiian Airlines and began operations under the same conditions specified in the County Ordinance.

1993 (26 April)

Keahole Airport was renamed Keahole-Kona International Airport by the State Legislature.

1993 (20 July)

Asiana Airlines inaugurated service from Korea to Honolulu.

1993 (20 July)

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

1993 (21 July)

Aloha Airlines began operations from the new Interisland Terminal followed later in the year by Hawaiian Airlines. The new terminal provided 660,000 square feet of working space, 1,726 vehicle parking spaces and a intra-airport transportation station. The building cost $137 million and culminated 10 years of planning, design and construction. It was the highest valued capital improvement project to date.

1993 (Sept)

Hawaiian Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy status and emerged a year later.

1993 (29 Sept)

The terminal at Hilo International Airport was rededicated to Brig. Gen. Albert K. B. Lyman.


Trans Executive Airlines (Trans Air) began commuter service from Honolulu to Waimea-Kohala Airport by Cessna 402 aircraft.


Caledonian Airways began charter flights from London to Vancouver to Honolulu by DC-10 aircraft. This connection was short-lived.


Airports Council International (ACI) reported Honolulu (HNL) was 24th of 461 airports worldwide in total passengers handled in 1993. Kahului (OGG) was 108th, Keahole-Kona (KOA) was 173rd, Lihue (LIH) 189th and Hilo (ITO) was 206th.

1994 (Jan)

An eight-bay T-hangar was completed at Hilo International Airport to house light general aviation aircraft.

(1994 (14 Jan)

A dedication ceremony was held for housing facilities at Hickam Air Force Base.  The project was completed as compensation for land acquired from the Air Force.

1994 (21 Jan)

A dedication ceremony was held for Gates 31 to 34 in the Ewa Concourse at HNL.  This project provides four passenger hold rooms and three gates able to handle wide body aircraft.

1994 (4 Feb)

The extension of Runway 17-35 at Keahole-Kona International Airport was dedicated. The runway was strengthened and lengthened to 11,000 feet.  It is the longest runway of all Neighbor Island airports and capable of handling non-stop flights to airports around the Pacific Basin and beyond.

1994 (14 Feb)

A Cargolus B-747 arrived at Keahole.  This was the first long-range flight to Keahole.  It arrived from Europe carrying equipment for filming of a movie.  Scheduled direct Mainland wide-body service into and out of Keahole began in March.

1994 (8 April)

A dedication ceremony was held for the new dormitory building at Hickam Air Force Base, which also built as compensation for land acquired from the Air Force.

1994 (18 April)

The Hawaii Government Employees Association went on strike for about a week. All State airports were kept operational during the strike.

1994 (19 April)

The new terminal at Lanai Airport was dedicated.  The terminal is five times larger than the old terminal and includes a new parking area, roadway and landscaping.

1994 (27 May)

A new Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Station was dedicated at Kahului Airport.

1994 (30 July)

Marine Corps Air Facility, Kaneohe Bay was formed to serve the operational needs of the aviation community

1994 (16 Sept)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Makai Pier of the new Interisland Terminal at HNL. This addition will provide five aircraft gates and cost $18.3 million.

1994 (19 Oct)

A dedication ceremony was held for the Molokai Airport terminal modifications.

1994 (23 Nov)

Balair inaugurated service to HNL.

1994 (5 Dec)

The HDOT Airports Division leased Princeville Airport from the Princeville Corp. and took over operations and maintenance.

1994 (20 May)

Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays initiated air service to Honolulu, Kahului and Keahole-Kona.

1995 (17 March)

The new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Station was dedicated at Lihue Airport.

1995 (18 May)

A dedication ceremony was held for the HNL Airport Training Center. The new training center will provide up-to-date workshops and classrooms operated by Honolulu Community College for students studying aviation-related courses and for airport employees.

1995 (20 Oct)

A dedication ceremony was held for the Makai Pier, Phase II at HNL and a renovated international tour group processing area was put into operation.

1995 (1 Dec)

Work started on a temporary Federal Inspection Services Facility at Keahole-Kona Airport. This fabric structure provided 12,000 square feet of space for passenger processing and 4,000 square feet for inspectors’ offices.

1995 (5 Dec)

Canada 3000 started weekly service between Vancouver and Kona.


Blue Hawaiian Helicopters opened a $1.2 million passenger facility on the East Ramp, Kahului Airport.


Papillion Helicopters, Hawaii’s largest helicopter company decided to cease operations due to new FAA rules banning flying below 1,500 feet elevation.


The airport at Keahole was renamed Keahole-Kona International Airport by the Hawaii State Legislature.

1966 (2 June)

Japan Airlines started service directly to Keahole Kona International Airport.

1996 (30 June)

HNL achieved a peak of total passengers handled at 24,464,866 for the previous year.


Hawaiian Airlines began partnering with Northwest Airlines for interisland travel and code sharing with Mahalo Airlines.


Mahalo Airlines serviced Kapalua Airport with its ATR-42 Aircraft.


Hawaiian Airlines initiated a connection to Portland, Oregon and a connection from Anchorage, Alaska to Kahului, Maui.


HNL made systems improvements including security, energy monitoring and control, runway and taxiway signage, and flight information in the Interisland Terminal Makai Pier and included loading bridges.

1997 (Jan)

Island Air ceased DH-8 operations into Princeville Airport on Kauai. Earlier they had operated with DH-6 aircraft twice daily from Honolulu.

1997 (1 Sept)

The State waived all airline landing fees for two years to encourage tourism which was in a downturn. The next day Mahalo Air went out of business.


Continental Airlines moved its DC-10 pilot base from Los Angeles to Honolulu to create a mini-hub for growth in the Asia-Pacific market.


Mahalo Airlines added 20 daily flights between Honolulu and Kahului by adding another aircraft.


Continental Airlines added Houston to Honolulu service.


Kona-Keahole Airport was renamed again by the Hawaii State Legislature, Kona International Airport at Keahole, Hawaii.


Aloha Airlines began service to Christmas Island once a week.


UPS began cargo flights into Kahului Airport five days a week.


Hawaiian Airlines initiated Seattle to Kahului service with B767s.


Pacific Wings, a Division of Air Nevada, initiated commuter service from Kahului to various Hawaii airports using Cessna 172 and 402 aircraft.


Construction started in 1997 and was completed in 1998 for a firefighting training facility at Kahului; aircraft parking apron and T-­hangar at Lihue Road N, and terminal improvements in Kona; and additional employee parking and emergency power projects at HNL.

1998 (Aug)

The Record of Decision on the Environmental Impact Statement for Kahului Airport Improvements by the FAA was announced. Four court cases in State and Federal courts were fought over the adequacy of the ElS, noise, and runway strengthening with victories for the HDOT Airports Division.  The runway extension still has not been constructed due to land use and permitting complications.


In 1998 Aloha Airlines and American Airlines announced plans to advertise Hawaii to improve tourism in response to the waiver of landing fees.


Harlequin Air, a subsidiary of Japan Air Service started charter operations to Honolulu.


United Airlines restarted a daily flight from the mainland west coast to Lihue, Kauai. This connection had been missing since Hurricane Iniki in September 1992.


Hawaiian Airlines added a flight to Pago Pago, American Samoa several times a week.


Continental Airlines completed its aircraft maintenance hangar off Lagoon Drive at HNL which at 85,000 square feet can handle B747 aircraft.  The hangar cost $26 million and was financed with airport revenue bonds backed by the State.


United Airlines completed its new air cargo facility at HNL, a 65,000 square foot fabric roofed structure worth $7.8M million.  This project was also financed by State Airport Revenue Bonds. This project required site work by the Airports Division worth $1.4 million which demolished existing buildings and utilities lines.


UPS began a daily service to Kona from California.


All Nippon Airways began flying twice weekly between Tokyo and Honolulu.


Aloha Airlines reduced its daily interisland schedule by 10 flights to 168 daily trips.


Construction at HNL included new concrete hardstands at the interisland ramp and reconstruction of the sanitary sewer lines under the main terminal.

1999 (Feb)

Aloha Airlines initiated electronic ticketing for interisland travelers.

1999 (1 July)

The HDOT’s Airport Division’s Oahu District acquired the airfield at Barbers Point Naval Air Station and began operation as a general aviation reliever airport for Honolulu International Airport.  The new acquisition was renamed Kalaeloa Airport and given the identification symbol JRF meaning John Rodgers Field as the Navy had named the airfield.  JRF was acquired from the Navy at no cost and consists of three runways on 757 acres with a control tower, maintenance building, 105,000 square foot aircraft maintenance hangar and fire station. JRF provides an alternate landing site for the airlines, will provide a training site for general aviation, and will provide an operational base for the Coast Guard Rescue Station.  It will also provide an operational base for Hawaii National Guard helicopters and provide a disaster relief base.  Finally the search for a general aviation reliever airport for Oahu was satisfied and a new airport worth at least $400 million was added to the inventory.


The Airports Division canceled its lease for Princeville Airport, Kauai.


Kitty Hawk Cargo, Inc. purchased the American International Cargo facilities at HNL.


The Airports Division implemented a Cultural Advisory Committee which recommended themes for each major airport.

  • Honolulu’s theme is Ancient Polynesian Voyaging.
  • Kahului’s is Maui the Demigod.
  • Kona’s is Kamehameha I.
  • Lihue’s is the Garden Isle.
  • Hilo’s is Pele the Fire Goddess.

Cultural enhancements were added at the five major airports.


Construction started on modifications to the interior of the International Arrivals Building at HNL, to include larger baggage claim carousels, renovated rest rooms, lighting, air conditioning and a Hawaiian Sense of Place.


The U.S. Department of Justice started construction on a $50M Federal Detention Center on four acres of land adjacent to the Interisland Maintenance Area at HNL.


The FAA initiated construction of a $22 million Honolulu Control Facility which would allow the Center Radar Approach equipment and personnel to be moved from Diamond Head Crater to the Honolulu Air Traffic Control Tower adjacent to the Hickam Golf Course.


An Air France Concorde Aircraft landed at Kona Airport on an around the world flight and later landed at HNL on a second trans-world flight.


Philippine Airlines resumed flights to HNL after a one year suspension due to a strike.


This was the year of concern for Y2K, the worry over whether embedded computer chips would recognize the year 2000 or would just shut everything down.  A considerable consultant effort was expended to check and replace computer microchips where necessary but year 2000 came without any loss of operational capability.


Following the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Committee’s decision to close NAS Barbers Point, the Marine Corps Air Facility, Kaneohe Bay, acquired 4 Navy P-3 patrol squadrons and one SH-60 Anti-Submarine squadron in 1999.