Kauai's missile range aims to expand danger zone

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - The Navy is proposing to expand the danger zone fronting Kauai's Pacific Missile Range Facility.

The current zone is near the base's northern launch pads. The Navy says it needs to expand the area because it plans to launch University of Hawaii satellites from the southern launch paid.

Missile range spokesman Stefan Alford told The Garden Island newspaper the northern area will remain open when there's a launch from the southern launch pad and vice versa.

This is so the Navy doesn't block off the entire coast.

Missile range commander Capt. Nicholas Mongillo says public access for swimming, fishing and surfing will only be restricted during launches and training.

Mongillo says there's an average of 25 closures per year. They last between 30 minutes and a few hours.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.