Changes Ahead For Honolulu International Airport

Jan 4, 2007 09:41 PM

By Stephanie Lum

(KHNL) - Some improvements are on the way to help travelers feel a bit more at home at a place where they can spend hours waiting around!

The Department of Transportation and HMS Corporation announced today plans for new restaurants inside and outside of the Honolulu International Airport.

The first eatery to open is a Starbucks coffee shop just outside of the security checkpoints.

"After 9/11, only people with tickets can get past the check points now and so we are going to have to re-do our marketing strategy to try to drum up more revenue," said Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa.

With folks lining up at the counter, it seems visitors like the new addition and the convenience of getting a coffee and snack to go.

"I spotted only a snack shop with hot dogs and then this Starbucks and it is great," said Rowan Burkhatt from Australia.

"I left the checkpoint area and saw that this (Starbucks) is the the only place I have access to get something to eat and I think it's a great idea if there was more to choose from," said Glenn Priddam from California.

A number of other new restaurants with familiar names like Wolf Gang Puck and Gordon Biersch are also planned for the airport. The improvements come as HMS, a world leader in providing dining and shopping concessions to the travel industry, extended its lease with the airport through 2014. It is expected to invest a minimum of 8 million dollars into the airport.

"We want to get some brand name restaurants that people are familiar with and hopefully they'll stop off and take advantage of those businesses and local vendors as well," said Ishikawa.

The new restaurants will be added over the course of the next two to four years.