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Honolulu City Council committee to consider resolution in support of Dillingham Airfield

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A Honolulu City Council committee will consider a resolution Tuesday introduced by Heidi Tsuneyoshi asking the state to work with “interested parties” including legislators, business groups and the Army “to ensure the continuance of general aviation” at Dillingham Airfield.

The committee on transportation, sustainability and health meets at 9 a.m.

The resolution notes that Dillingham, also known as Kawaihapai Airfield, “is too valuable to the region as an employer and business hub, to the visitor industry and to the future of general aviation in Hawaii to allow its closure without a comprehensive review of viable alternatives.”

The airfield is one of the most popular skydiving centers in the world as well as a world-class location for glider rides “and there are no suitable alternative locations for these activities on Oahu,” the resolution states.

The airfield supports 11 businesses and more than 130 employees and generates approximately $12 million per year in visitor spending, according to the resolution.

The state Department of Transportation Airports Division, which operates the airport under a lease with the Army, wants to terminate its involvement by June 30. DOT said it subsidizes a $1 million annual loss at the airport.

To make continued operation possible, operations at Dillingham likely would have to shift to an airport authority that would contract with a third-party operator in a public-private venture.

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