If I Were King of the Big Island, I would…#MoveDaAirport


Hilo International Airport – aka #ITO

Hilo International Airport

Hilo International Airport

My first act as your King is to relocate the airport – #MoveDaAirport.


I would move the airport closer to Puna and more inland. Through my powers of eminent domain and negotiation, I would do a land swap with the Watamull’s, W.H. Shipman Co., Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate (KSBE), the Dept of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and the State of Hawaii.


Currently, the airport sits on about 1,400 acres and is comprised of two runways. One is 9,800 ft long and the other is 5,600 ft in length. By the way, these 1,400 acres are currently owned by the State of Hawaii and is part of the 818,669 acres of “ceded lands” of the more than 1.8 million acres of “Crown” lands throughout the State of Hawaii.  Click here for more info on Airport ceded lands.


My plan to relocate the airport would result in a land swap between the State, Private owners and DHHL.  The Airport property would then be given back to a non-profit Hawaiian organization – not OHA! No way!  Been there, done that.   Anyhow, that group would be charged with creating the zoning to establish leasehold opportunities to create recurring revenue streams for the benefit of Native Hawaiians that have a minimum of 1/8th of blood quantum.


This new airport would be built on the vacant land that we exchange for and is currently land-locked and not being utilized.  I’m talking about a shiny new gem of an airport that has the latest in design, technology, security and conveniences.  This new infrastructure construction project would employ thousands and would take 36-48 months to complete.


Once the new airport is completed, they would begin the process of dismantling the old airport to make room for the “New City” of Hilo.  We are the second most populated city in the State of Hawaii but we continue to think and act like a tiny village.  It’s time to wake up and step up to the big leagues or forever be left behind!  More about the #NewCity in a later post.


Back to the airport relocation.  If you’re familiar with the flight patterns into and out of Hilo Intl Airport aka #ITO, you are aware that inbound flights take the planes directly over the eastern end of downtown Hilo area, near Liliuokalani Gardens and another underutilized asset, Banyan Drive.  This also happens to be where our only hotels – that’s generous – are located!


Why not change the flight patterns and have takeoffs and landings over the ocean.  And I don’t want to hear about wind patterns or some other nonsense.  I’m the King!  Get it done.


Seriously, who was the idiot behind this bonehead planning? Have you ever had breakfast at the famous Ken’s House of Pancakes and get your world rocked by the roar of a jet plane directly above the restaurant?  It sounds like someone going to the bathroom after pounding one Sumo!  Not to mention that this is a tragedy waiting to happen.  It’s not a question of if a plane will crash, but when.  This has got to be fixed and there is no better time than the present.


Dubai International Aiport

Dubai International Aiport

The picture to the right is of the Dubai International Airport and was ranked #2 on a list of “The 17 Most Beautiful Airports in the World” according to Compressor.com


It’s time for a brand new signature airport that truly serves the growing Asia-Pacific tourism that love, love, love, all things Hawaii.


Obviously, we would incorporate a Hawaii sense of place in all designs.  To accomplish that I would solicit the design services of Sig & Kuaho Zane to lead the design aspects of all of my projects.  The idea is to have a consistency in design across all changes that I will be making and being able to communicate that design theme with people that know what I’m trying to create.


Now that we’ve started with the big project and people are confused, let’s move on to the redevelopment of the Old Airport site and the surrounding community of Keaukaha and all the Hawaiian Home Lands that exist.


Let’s talk about your King’s vision for a #NewCity by the bay!  Stay tuned…

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