If you find yourself passing through Honolulu International Airport later this year you can expect to see a lot of construction and upgrades going on around you. $750 million in work is planned out for the Honolulu International Airport in an effort to build new terminals, bigger gates, a new rental car building, and make other improvements on Hawaii’s busiest airport. A busy airport that is really aging.
The work is expected to break ground in June, but construction will not be completed until 2017. So with several years of construction planned, how will this affect you (the traveler)?
Construction at the airport during the first year “shouldn’t at all have an impact” on commuters and travelers, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said Wednesday. The work will be done in phases so that operations can continue as smoothly as possible, she said.
“They’re trying to do it to have the least possible impact on the traveling public,” Sluyter added.
State transportation officials outlined the $750 million effort to modernize Honolulu Airport at a briefing Wednesday before the state Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs. The meeting also covered the DOT’s major air, harbor and road projects planned around the state.
“If you take a look at our current commuter terminal, it’s old — it’s very old. We need to go ahead and upgrade that,” Ford Fuchigami, deputy director of the DOT’s Airports Division, said after Wednesday’s Senate briefing. “If you compare our airport to other airports we want to be in the same capacity with them, so I think it’s really important for us to keep up.”
The improvements for Honolulu International Airport have been a long time coming, as the airport continues to be busier and busier but has aged well past what it needs to. If you look around you can see that other upgrades have been made over the last few years, but this new set of upgrades will really bring the airport to the modern level.
Honolulu International Airport upgrades by the Numbers
None of the improvements will be paid for with the state’s general fund, Fuchigami added. The upgrades also will include a new $85.4 million maintenance and cargo facility for Hawaiian Airlines, a $215 million concourse with gates for six wide-body or 11 narrow planes and $60 million in wider taxi lanes for those planes to maneuver.
The project’s largest element, Fuchigami said, will be a new $250 million consolidated car rental facility to house all of the rental car companies serving customers at the airport.
“What we want to do is bring everybody into one area, similar to what Las Vegas has,” he said Wednesday.
The project also will eventually include a new traffic light for drivers entering the airport from H-1 freeway, Sluyter said.