Parking at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport’s “Terminal 1” filled up for the second Friday in a row. Transportation officials urged travelers to get dropped off.
It’s a problem that used to happen only during the holidays or three day weekends. The Department of Transportation said it’s happening more often on Friday’s for a number of reasons.
Sherry Kahawaii was catching a flight to the Big Island.
“It took me about 20 minutes cause I was going round and round and up and down and finally found one,” said Sherry Kahawaii. She was catching a flight to the Big Island to visit friends for the weekend.
KHON: “Did you expect for it to take this long on a regular Friday afternoon?”
“No I didn’t. Actually I used to get dropped off. Now I’m wondering why I didn’t do that because it’s a lot easier to get dropped off then trying to find parking,” Kahawaii said.
Having to circle the packed parking lot looking for an open stall is no fun especially when you’re in a hurry to catch a flight.
Terry Honay and his wife were flying to Maui for a weekend getaway. They said it took them 15 minutes to find parking.
KHON: “Did you realize it would be so difficult?”
“Not today. No. But we are kind of late for time now,” Honay said.
So why has parking been so tight at the airport the past couple Fridays?
“There are a variety of issues that could cause us to feel the pinch a little more at the airport,” said Tim Sakahara from the Department of Transportation. “It’s Friday and that’s a getaway day for a lot of people. Add into that there are more interisland flights and more seats available and a lot of those people taking those flights are residents.”
Many residents will drive and park themselves.
Another reason. Construction.
“The new consolidated rental car facility, it’s being built. That took some of the public parking stalls. So once that facility is done within two years those stalls will be back open for the public.”
Sakahara said construction workers aren’t to blame.
“The construction workers actually park in the construction zone. They have kind of a dedicated area where they can park.”
Abandoned cars are also filling up some stalls according to Sakahara.
They discovered 60 of them this summer.
“Over the last month we removed 30 abandoned vehicles, which is great. Then next month we plan to remove another 30 vehicles,” Sakahara explained.
Electric Vehicles are also taking up stalls.
“(Electric vehicles) only make up about one percent of the volume of cars out on the roadways. But with the research we’ve seen here in the parking lots, the electric vehicles actually take up about 20% of the stalls. A lot of that is because of the incentive–they can park anywhere for free,” said Sakahara.
Sakahara added that there are just a limited amount of parking stalls at the airport.
“Just like going to a concert or a sporting event, parking lots fill up at times.”
The best way to avoid parking lot problems at the airport is to be dropped off.
Sakahara said it’s easier and it saves $18 a day.