HONOLULU (KHON2) — It is one of the first landmarks people see when they arrive on the islands, but is it the best Hawaii has to offer? State transportation officials said they are working on it, as the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport sees its share of improvements.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division Deputy Director Ross Higashi said updating the bathrooms throughout the airport was a major project. The two-phase project cost the state about $50 million, but Higashi said that was needed as bathrooms are usually the first stop for many travelers.
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Higashi said, “We’ve completed 40 out of 50 sets here at Honolulu or Daniel K Inouye International Airport and we should be finished by next summer, the summer of 2023.”
Meanwhile, the bright and airy $270 million Mauka concourse expanded the airport by about 230,000 square feet, but noticeably missing are food options.
“The only project that’s delayed right now is out in the Mauka concourse, we are waiting for a building permit for a food and beverage concessioner which is for HMSHost,” Higashi said. “It is approximately a year and a half since they applied for that building permit and we’re still for that permit to be approved.”
Oahu resident Alfred Delgado waited for his flight to Los Angeles at the Mauka concourse, he was among the travelers looking for a snack before his trip.
Delgado said, “This area specifically, just more food places because all of the food places are located a little bit farther out.”
Less flashy upgrades but crucial infrastructure repairs will soon be underway. A project timeline shows the Ewa and Diamond Head concourse roadway improvement set to begin next year.
Higashi said, “The roadways need to be strengthened, they need to be hardened they need to be improved because a lot of the concrete is starting to fall apart so it’s all in the sterile side of the airport.”
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Meanwhile, Higashi said the food vendor HMS Host continues to wait for a building permit approval by the City.