September 24, 2021


Travel-Lickin' Good

Honolulu airport’s new concourse expected to relieve congestion: Journey Weekly

The opening of the $270 million Mauka Concourse at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye Intercontinental Airport on Aug. 27 marks the airport’s very first gate enlargement in 28 a long time.

The concourse is expected to make improvements to effectiveness and wait periods at the Aloha State’s busiest airport.

The new 230,000 sq.-foot concourse in Honolulu expands Terminal 1 and can accommodate six widebody or 11 narrowbody gates. 

The venture is the to start with main gate enlargement considering that Terminal 1 opened in July 1993. 

“It is really been virtually three decades considering that we developed one thing of this type of magnitude,” explained Hawaii Section of Transportation Airports Division deputy director Ross Higashi. “This will go down in Hawaii airport heritage.”

The new concourse will aid ease a midday gate crunch at the airport from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., peak periods for the facility, and is anticipated to shorten the latest 12- to 15- minute typical wait in TSA strains. The terminal now has the capacity for up to ten protection checkpoint lanes, up from seven beforehand. 

Through the busiest durations of the working day it is not unheard of for departing passengers to have to cue for ticket counters on the sidewalks exterior the airport building, something that has a “psychological influence” on vacationers, Higashi mentioned. 

“That gave passengers the effect they were being late or one thing was erroneous,” Higashi claimed. “Now people will be able to line up inside the terminal and it will be a superior encounter for everybody.”

The new concourse will be made use of by Hawaiian Airlines, which operates close to 50% of the flights out of Honolulu Airport, Higashi explained.   

“There are substantial ceilings, a large amount of seating capability, glass that allows organic light into the terminal from all four sides,” he claimed. “And the magnificence of it is that the plane can park on a few sides of the concourse, three sides of the sq., and it makes it incredibly effective.”  

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, an typical of 20 million travellers per year board and exit planes in Honolulu, constituting about 57% of the 37 million passengers that shift by the state’s 15 airports.
Due to the fact of pandemic disruptions, the food stuff and beverage choices and retail products and services in the new Mauka Concourse are not as much alongside as anticipated, Higashi claimed. 

“Enterprises are hurting, and you seriously are not able to study the foreseeable future appropriate now with this new delta variant,” he said. “We will be building out the food and retail areas in the concourse, but there is certainly been a little hiccup as all people has been hit economically by the pandemic.”

The Section of Transportation is aiming for a minimal of Silver certification from the U.S. Inexperienced Constructing Council’s Management in Energy and Environmental Layout (LEED) plan with a concourse structure that integrated a number of things to enhance power conservation and sustainability.

There are features to decrease h2o use, boost air conditioning effectiveness, and make it possible for all-natural mild whilst blocking abnormal solar heat.

The opening of the Mauka Concourse arrives towards the finish of a $2.6 billion greenback hard work to update the state’s airports that started in 2015. A couple assignments are however pending.

In December, the new $360 million Honolulu Consolidated Rental Motor vehicle Facility is expected to open up. The 370,000-square-foot facility will bring all of the rental automobile places of work under a single roof, streamlining shuttle operations. It will have 4,500 areas for rental autos, opening up airport house for extra public parking.

“The splendor of this venture is that it will minimize the volume of visitors all around the airport and develop a 1-prevent shop for prospects who want a rental car or truck,” Higashi reported. 

Also forthcoming is a new U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection station at the Island of Hawaii’s Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport.

Following the 2008 recession, the airport stopped getting global flights, Higashi said, but as travel returned adhering to the financial downturn, the condition made a decision it required the potential to take flights from outside the house the U.S. yet again. In 2016, point out officials worked with the federal authorities to open a short term inspection station at the Kona airport. 

The new $58 million permanent customs facility is scheduled to open up in October, Higashi explained. 

Farther down the highway with an predicted completion in 2024, Maui’s Kahului Airport will get a new hold area, growing house for passengers waiting around for their flights. Additional straight away, the airport is adding screening lanes and additional TSA employees, including canine teams, with a additional lasting enhance to the safety checkpoint potential coming in the potential.

Kahului is the state’s 2nd-busiest airport, and Higashi said wait around occasions for clearing protection are among the the top rated five slowest out of all U.S. airports. 

Even though a surge in Covid-19 situations on the islands attributed to the delta variant has led Gov. David Ige and point out officers to discourage tourism to Hawaii at this time, Higashi expects all of the upgrades at the state’s airports to be place to superior use soon. 

“We have been by turbulent times in advance of,” Higashi stated. “There was the downturn after 9/11. There was the downturn right after the 2008 recession. There was SARS, and now it is the delta variant with this pandemic. What is demonstrated for Hawaii is we are a location of selection, and persons will proceed to want to come here.”