HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Monday, Aug. 15, be prepared for a full parking lot at Lihue Airport as crews begin on a major repaving project that requires 60 stalls to be closed in different phases. The Hawaii Department of Transportation recommends getting dropped off for the next few months.
And if you’re a Turo user, this is a reminder that you’re not allowed to park your cars on airport property.
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“You do not have permission. There’s not a permitted process in place yet for that to happen,” said Jai Cunningham, DOT spokesperson.
Cunningham remembers a similar situation happening a handful of years ago when rideshare started to become popular in Hawaii.
“We kind of had to come up with new restrictions and new regulations to govern that because it wasn’t fair to the taxi-cab drivers who are permitted out at these different airports,” Cunningham explained. “They’re permitted to use the airport, and so we had folks that were not permitted that would be using it, so we had to come up with a process to put in place to be able to handle the Ubers and the Lyfts.”
More recently, when there was a huge backlog of cars not having a space to park, people started to discover Turo, which eventually led to enforcement.
“Now, Turo rented space at one of the main shopping centers close by, and they have a shuttle that takes travelers to pick up their vehicles. Turo vehicles no longer park in the main airport parking,” said Charlie Iona, a district contract security manager for Allied Universal.
“Plus, if we suspect a vehicle and we get a license plate number, we call it in to Turo, and if it’s one of theirs, they will issue a warning to the owner of the vehicle,” Iona continued, “and if they fail to cease and desist, that vehicle and owner is removed from the Turo system for non-compliance.”
Iona shared they do have ongoing enforcement for other peer-to-peer vehicle rentals, and they are cited for prohibited commercial activity without a permit on airport property.
“Those non-Turo participants can be found on Craigslist, Kaua’i Buy and Sell and Kaua’i Rentals. So it has become a full-time job scouring social media and media in general for those trying to sneak by the system,” said Iona.
Cunningham added that something similar to how they govern Uber and Lyft will probably take place, but for right now, Turos can’t do business there.
“If you are over on Kauai and you do rent out a car through Turo, just know you’re not supposed to park it on airport property, and we do have folks who are looking out for that,” said Cunningham.
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Travelers are advised to get to the airport at least three hours before their flight, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., or on weekends.