Hawaiian Airlines has finally finished its new maintenance and cargo facility after problems with the original contractor — DCK Pacific Construction — caused years of delays and tens of millions of dollars in repairs.
Now the airline is calling for an investigation and the state is suing DCK.
"We'd like to see an audit done. To have this amount of money essentially wasted, I think demands some answers," said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines.
The state Transportation Department contracted DCK to build Hawaiian's facility back in 2010, but fired the company in 2015 after learning the project fell behind schedule because DCK was not paying its subcontractors.
State lawmakers ended up passing Act 19 to pay the subcontractors that were owed money and Hawaiian took the project over in December 2016.
Dunkerley says 3,688 items at the facility were flagged as deficiencies or incomplete.
"Concrete was cracking and that was before the first vehicle had even been on it. Truck loading ramps were built at a grade too steep. There was no electrical wiring in the wall so it had to be ripped down and done again," Dunkerley said.
Dunkerley says the new 280,000-square-foot facility was supposed to be completed in 2014 for $80 million.
Three years later, with the work delays and needed repairs, it now cost about $120 million.
"There's no taxpayer funds that go into this. It strictly comes out of the wallets of the airport users and Hawaiian alone accounts for roughly 40 percent of all the airport costs," he said.
The new facility includes a maintenance hangar that can hold up to five interisland aircraft and allows employees to work on aircraft indoors away from the elements.
There will also be a 24/7 cargo department and two floors of office space. Around 1,100 employees will begin working here starting November 6.
With this project now complete, Dunkerley says the way is clear for other airport modernization projects.
The transportation department says it referred the matter to the DCCA Regulated Industries Complaints Office for appropriate action and is also working with the State Procurement Office on barring DCK from working on future state projects.