HONOLULU (KHON2) — Longer taxi time and delays are just some of the impacts Hawaiian Airlines is seeing from a runway project at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. KHON2 got answers on when things could return to normal.
Since October, Hawaiian Airlines said it’s been facing operational changes due to the runway closure at Honolulu’s airport.
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The airline said the runway project originally due for completion in February has been delayed until late May.
As a consequence of the runway closure, certain midday flights out of Lihue and Maui are being delayed 20 to 40 minutes on a daily basis. This is due to Air Traffic Control holding neighbor island departures for transpacific arrivals into Honolulu.
“She was stuck on the tarmac for 45 minutes literally just sitting in the plane and they weren’t moving,” said Graham Hanson, an Oahu resident.
“We had a ground delay in Hilo, the captain came on the PA and said we had to wait in Hilo until we got our time which was just 10 minutes later,” said Mel, a Hilo resident.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation confirmed the overall project is expected to be done in the first quarter of 2024, but the runway will be operational in late May. They added that stage two of the project is currently underway and includes widening 4,000 feet of the runway.
“The amount of asphalt that it takes to resurface a runway means incredible coordination with all the contractors to do that sort of work around the island and so trying to get time schedules that both aligned that with FAA requirements and schedules is very, very difficult,” said Sen. Chris Lee, (D) Senate Transportation and Culture and the Arts Committee chair.
Hawaiian Airlines is adjusting its flight schedule and working closely with its partners at HDOT to mitigate any impacts on its guests and operations.
On Maui, Kahului Airport is in the procurement process for runway improvements.
Officials are asking for everyone’s patience.
“There’s going to be some difficulties at times, but these projects are necessary to make sure that we can keep flying,” said Sen. Lee.
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The legislature included in its budget this session, more money for airports.