KONA – The state Department of Transportation (HDOT) celebrated the dedication of a new Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting (ARFF) station at the Kona International Airport earlier today. The new 24,000 square-foot facility includes five truck bays and a fueling area, along with improved work and living areas for firefighters, office space, dorm rooms and a workout area.

“The new ARFF station will enhance our readiness capabilities and help to ensure that our fire-fighters are prepared should emergencies occur at Kona International Airport,” said Ross Higashi, Deputy Director of the Airports Division. “This vital facility will help us to continue to provide a safe environment for our air travelers.”

Nearly 88-percent of the project funding for design and construction was provided by an Airport Improvements Program grant for $17 million, issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. State funds covered the remaining $2.3 million. The new station replaces the existing ARFF station which was originally built in 1980.

“In conjunction with the Kona FAA Air Traffic Control Tower, which recently opened one year ago, this new station reflects our commitment towards making our state airports safer and more efficient,” said Ford Fuchigami, HDOT Interim Director. “These projects pave the way for future improvements at Kona International as part of Governor Neil Abercrombie’s New Day Work Projects.”