KAILUA-KONA >> A major expansion of Kona airport is underway.
Airport officials and state dignitaries broke ground on Wednesday for the $75 million project at the renamed Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport, West Hawaii Today reported.
“It will improve passenger experience for nonresidents and residents alike,” said Gov. David Ige.
Improvements at the airport include creating a centralized security area, a six-lane passenger screening checkpoint, new restrooms and an improved baggage handling system.
The airport was built in the 1970s to handle about 500,000 travelers per year. It now sees 3 million.
“I’m very hopeful in the modernization that it represents the local feeling here,” Rep. Cindy Evans (D-North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala) said. “This project is going to take a lot of effort. It’s been a long time coming — it’s what we want.”
Updates at the Kona airport are slated to be complete in February 2019.