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Officials dedicate new Kona Airport air traffic control tower

  • Officials participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new air traffic control tower at the Kona Airport. (Courtesy Department of Transportation)

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono joined state officials Wednesday to dedicate a new air traffic control tower at Kona Airport.

The new tower will provide better visibility over the air traffic patterns, replacing a tower that’s almost 43 years old, according to a Hawaii Department of Transportation release. Construction on the $34.9 million structure started in December 2009, the release further stated.

While at the Kona Airport, Hirono, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui and transportation officials also formally broke ground on a new 24,000-square-foot aircraft rescue and firefighting facility. The $14.6 million project, covered by FAA and state funds, will include two truck bays, a trailer bay, building area, and improved work and living spaces for firefighters, the DOT release stated.

"Kona International Airport is the gateway for visitors and residents alike and the new firefighting station and FAA tower will enable us to continue to provide a safe environment," Tsutsui sad in a statement. "This is also an important investment to support our economic driver – tourism."

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