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Maui government reconsiders air travel for work

  • This Thursday photo released by Russell deJetley shows a helicopter flying over the site of a plane crash in Lanai City. (AP Photo/Russell deJetley)

    This Thursday photo released by Russell deJetley shows a helicopter flying over the site of a plane crash in Lanai City. (AP Photo/Russell deJetley)

WAILUKU, Hawaii >> Maui County agencies are reconsidering how much government employees should travel by air for work after recent deadly plane crashes on Lanai and Molokai.

The Maui News reported Monday (http://bit.ly/1lPskS9 ) that Deputy Planning Director Michele McLean is allowing her employees to travel by commercial plane or ferry to Lanai and Molokai and by car to Hana, staying overnight when necessary. In the meantime, her department plans to revisit logistics and staffing for meetings.

The Feb. 26 crash on Lanai killed two planning workers and hurt three other county employees. On Dec. 11, a crash landing in waters off Molokai killed Hawaii’s health director, Loretta Fuddy.

It’s up to each department to choose what’s best when it comes to employee travel, county spokesman Rod Antone said. He said it’s necessary to use planes and ferries because the county includes three islands.

"We are doing research now so our employees have some options," Antone said.

Antone said hotel room prices are an issue, so the county is looking into affordable alternatives should employees need to stay overnight.

The Lanai crash led officials to cancel two upcoming meetings of the Lanai Planning Commission, which were scheduled to discuss a community plan. McLean said the meetings have not yet been rescheduled.

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