Hawaiian Airlines CEO rips condition of state's airports - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian Airlines CEO rips condition of state's airports

Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley (Image: Hawaii News Now) Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaiian Airlines) (Image: Hawaiian Airlines)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

On the day his company unveiled a new look for its planes, the chief executive of Hawaiian Airlines expressed disbelief at how long it's taken to finish several new additions planned for the Honolulu International Airport. 

"Our airport facilities, to call them behind the times doesn't do justice at just how awful they are," Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley said Monday.

Last week, the director of the state Department of Transportation took ownership for poor conditions at Hawaii's airports, saying that he had "failed" at properly maintaining facilities.

While Dunkerley credited the transportation department with taking responsibility for the deterioration, it doesn't excuse them from their shortcomings, he says.

"The state is just not keeping up with developing the airport, so we find ourselves back in a situation that is unattractive," he said.

Dunkerley told reporters on Monday that he was "disappointed" that state legislators failed to approve a plan that would've created an airport authority -- a semi-independent agency that would've managed Hawaii's airports.

Such a managing body may have prevented the years-worth of delays that have plagued the construction of Hawaiian's new hangar facility.

The state initially presided over the project, which must be completed before the construction of a new interisland terminal can begin. The company has since retaken control of construction.

Because of the state's lack of oversight, Dunkerley says, "the entire facility is going to be about 50 percent over budget by the time everything is said and done."

"And it will be roughly in the $120, $130 million dollar range for this, which is unacceptable," he added.

Hawaiian says it hopes to finish the hangar project before the holiday rush at the end of this year.

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