By AUDREY McAVOY
HONOLULU (AP) - The University of Hawaii's board has approved leasing land at Mauna Kea's summit to scientists planning to build the world's largest optical telescope.
The Board of Regents voted 15 to 1 in favor of the lease during a regularly scheduled meeting at the Manoa campus on Thursday.
Student representative Jeffrey Acido cast the only opposing vote.
The Thirty Meter Telescope is a joint project between universities in California and Canada and research institutions in China, India and Japan.
Officials hope to begin construction this year and start operations in 2021.
The University of Hawaii leases land at Mauna Kea's summit from the state. The board approved issuing a sublease for the Thirty Meter Telescope.
The university's board nearly four years ago unanimously voted to support the project.