COPY-Pending bill would let Kona accept international flights - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Pending bill would let Kona accept international flights

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BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - The Kona International Airport may soon be able to accept international travelers again thanks to a few words in a Homeland Security funding bill.

West Hawaii Today reports (http://bit.ly/1JN3xIe ) that U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says he added language to the bill that would give U.S. Customs and Border Protection more flexibility and possibly allow them to staff the Kona airport.

A stone and tent-like structure processed international arrivals in the past, but it hasn't been used in more than five years because of security concerns.

The bill should be finalized in September.

Schatz's proposal is part of a two-pronged approach to bring commercial international airlines back to Kona. That would not only boost tourism on the Big Island but also relieve some of the stress at the busy Honolulu airport.

Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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