AIRPORT (HawaiiNewsNow) - A crew from Standard Sheet Metal worked feverishly Wednesday afternoon to remove and replace a broken section of air conditioning pipe that carries chilled water throughout the Honolulu International Airport's central concourse.
"This is a very old system. This is a very old airport. It's over 30 years old," state Dept. of Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said.
Inside the terminal, passengers and workers tried to beat the heat the old fashioned way, using whatever was handy to fan themselves.
"It was very very hot. We had a two-and-a-half hour wait for the rest of our family," traveler Patty Gibson said.
"I probably would have worn shorts and flip-flops if I knew it was going to be this muggy in the airport," Michael Farzam said.
A hairline crack in the pipe cut off the AC Tuesday afternoon in the oldest and busiest section of the airport.
"International arrivals. Customs is the worse. It's a very secure area. It's sealed tight," Meisenzahl said.
The airport's office tower and overseas baggage claim are also without air conditioning.
"They made an announcement, said they were sorry. I guess that's all they can do," traveler Tommy Gibson said.
The state Transportation Department brought in thirty floor fans and three portable AC units.
Fixing the pipe is just the first hurdle.
"We've got to re-fill this entire piping system. That's a lot of water. We've got to make sure there's no air in it, different little points where we release the air from the piping system. And then we have to chill the water," Meisenzahl said.
Fortunately a lot of the airport is open area. The part that isn't is pretty uncomfortable.
"It's really hot and the ice cream is melting really fast," Cold Stone Creamery employee Sierra Mendiola said.
The state hopes no other leaks will spring up when the system is turned back on. Meisenzahl said that should be sometime Thursday.