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For Wednesday, August 4, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


Flights banned over homes near lava

The Federal Aviation Administration has banned flying over the Kalapana Gardens subdivision until further notice, eight days after a house was destroyed by lava.

At 11:55 a.m. Monday the FAA issued the temporary flight restrictions over the subdivision within a half-nautical-mile radius for a ceiling of 1,500 feet altitude.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the restrictions were made strictly for safety reasons.

However, the offshore area is excluded, allowing helicopter tours to continue along the coastline where the lava has made its way into the ocean.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense had requested the FAA establish a no-fly zone to prevent helicopter tour companies from continuing to fly over the area.

Hawaii County Civil Defense administrative officer William Hanson said, "We would like the commercial tour companies to allow tourists to see the lava, but we would like to make sure that when like someone's house is being taken over by the lava, they don't add to the stress the residents are already facing."

$6.2M to fund emergency Lanai facility

The state will receive $6.2 million to build an aircraft rescue and firefighting building at Lanai Airport.

U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka said the money comes from a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Inouye said working families and visitors need safe and timely transportation between the islands. He said the funding will allow first responders to prepare for and respond to any emergency event that might arise at Lanai Airport.

Akaka said the grant will increase safety for residents and visitors flying to Lanai by stationing a new emergency response facility right at the airport.

Coming up

The city Department of Emergency Management is holding public workshops this week on the revised tsunami evacuation maps. Sessions are 9 a.m. today at the Mission Memorial Auditorium near City Hall, 5:30 p.m. today at Kailua District Park and 5:30 p.m. tomorrow at Kilauea District Park.

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