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Officials prepare Kona airport for international flights

KAILUA-KONA >> Gov. David Ige and state transportation officials are moving forward with plans to have Kona International Airport ready to receive international flights by the end of the year.

West Hawaii Today reports that Department of Transportation Director Ford Fuchigami said Friday that a $4 million contract had been awarded to help build a permanent inspection station at the airport. Federal officials are requiring the airport’s current inspection station to be replaced with a permanent facility in order for it to receive flights from outside the U.S.

The DOT is looking to have the inspection station open in time to accommodate a new Hawaiian Airlines route between Kona and Tokyo. The three flights a week from Haneda International Airport are set to begin near the start of 2017.

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  • Hmmmm. So we (taxpayers) are going to pay $4,000,000 to build an international arrivals area to service one flight three times a week by one airline. To me this sounds a bit like Superferry where the taxpayers ended up paying for a whole bunch of harbor improvements for an enterprise that eventually went belly up. JAL tried Tokyo to Kona service and failed. If the Hawaiian flight does not work out and they cancel the route (remember Hawaiian pulled out of Manila and Taipei) then what? I guess Kona will have a new international arrivals area to use for something else I guess.

    • This is only the beginning. There is already interest from Korean air and a possibly the return of JAL and perhaps ANA according to reports from West Hawaii Today and the Hilo Tribune Herald over the past year.

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