Honolulu Airport is the first and last public facility most people see of Hawaii. Even after hundreds of millions has been spent in recent years, it still falls for short of what's expected of a major, modern airport.
That's why the idea of creating an independent and specialized airport authority is gaining a lot of momentum at the legislature.
The big question is whether the state is really willing to let go – when the airport has traditionally been a place where politically connected contractors can get a lot of government business.
The Ige administration says the authority must be an arm of the state government – not a fully independent entity. If that's the case, all the authority will bring is another layer of bureaucracy.
What has held our airports back for years is the influence of politics… rotating appointed directors…public worker contracts… and government red tape.
Unless the airport authority is freed from all that… it simply won't work. If lawmakers are not willing to take a leap of faith and create a truly independent body, we would be better off just insisting on better performance from the people who are running the airports now.