Comments sought on airport modernization plans

Comments sought on airport modernization plans

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Right now, plans to modernize Honolulu International Airport are moving forward.  The more than 800-page environmental assessment is finished, and now the state is looking for your comments.

The rental car area of the airport will be getting an upgrade.  As it stands now, five companies are at the airport and three others are located on Nimitz Highway, but starting in November 2013, the state will build a five story consolidated rental car facility where they will all be located.

"It's one structure that accommodates all the rental car companies in one place. So it's easy to get to, it's easy to return your car, easy to rent your car and do it all in one area," said Caroline Sluyter, State Department of Transportation.

The state will also widen taxiways, demolish the commuter terminal and build a state of the art concourse that will have more gates and be able to service the bigger planes that are the wave of the future.

"A lot of the airlines are looking at possibly flying in the larger planes and so we'd like to accommodate them and that will really be possible with the new mauka concourse," said Sluyter.

The state also plans to build the new mauka concourse in just a year and a half, and finish the new commuter terminal in just 10 months.

"It's a very ambitious project," said Sluyter.

But before construction begins in two years, they want to hear from you now.  The open comment period runs now through November 30.  And just like a flight you don't let it take off without you.

"Every comment will be listened to and taken into consideration and a response will be given to the person who put in the comment," said Sluyter.

These changes will cost between $500 and $600 million. It will be paid for through airport fees, grants, rents and income, not from the state's general fund.

To review the Environmental Assessment click here.

If you want to comment on the project contact the Department of Transportation at the address below before November 30, 2012.

Hawaii Department of Transportation
Attention: Jeffrey Chang, Engineering Program Manager
DOT-Airports Division Engineering Branch
400 Rodgers Boulevard, 7th floor
Honolulu, HI 96819

For more information about the state's entire airport modernization plan click here.

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