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Hawaii News

Kona airport expansion starts

  • WEST HAWAII TODAY

    Kahu Brian Boshard, left, blesses the ground as Frank Okimoto, Chauncey Wong Yuen, Lorraine Inouye, Gov. David Ige, Nicole Lowen, Cindy Evans and Ross Higashi turn the dirt with O’o at the ground breaking ceremony for the terminal modernization program at Kona International Airport on Wednesday.

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.

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