HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Federal Aviation Administration reports Thursday was the highest post-pandemic travel day with over 54,000 flights. The Hawaii Department of Transportation reported the Hilo International Airport parking lot is full Friday.
At Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, lot full signs are already posted and residents told KHON2.com it’s already been a busy start to the holiday weekend.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
“It took a while taxing so just expect that,” said Maria Stedmen, a Manoa resident.
“For us, our delay was in Lihue for maybe 20 minutes,” said Kainoa Sheldon, a Kauai resident.
Hawaiian Airlines will have its volunteers at Honolulu and Kahului airports through Tuesday to help guests.
Starting Friday, Hawaiian is adding flights on routes to Las Vegas, Austin, Boston and Pago Pago to meet increased demand. The airline is encouraging travelers to use its mobile app, check in online and allow for extra time to get to the airport.
Just in time for the busy summer travel season, the Hawaii Department of Transportation is reopening Runway 8L. The runway has been under construction since last October and Hawaiian Airlines said, the work has caused longer taxi times and delays for some interisland flights on a daily basis.
According to HDOT, the runway will reopen at 6 a.m. Saturday with improved safety features like lighting and navigational aids. Crews worked day and night this last month to complete the project requiring 120,000 tons of asphalt.
“Now that we have this piece done, the impacts to the traveling public will be minimized significantly,” Ed Sniffen, HDOT director.
Runway 8L will still be closed nightly from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. for a 140-day period to complete work to some of the taxiways.
All aircraft were required to arrive on Runway 4R throughout the construction period. So, the reopening of Runway 8L on Saturday will restore the use of all four runways at the airport.
Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8
“That work is going to take us up to November, right before Thanksgiving to make sure we get it done and we combined all that work to make sure we can get it done very quickly,” Sniffen said.
HDOT is prioritizing road work that was put on pause due to the Runway 8L project.