New Backup Power Plant Designed for Airport

Brian Sekiguchi
Brian Sekiguchi
Darren Pai
Darren Pai

HONOLULU (KHNL) -  This time last year, the airport only had 15% backup power.

Just enough for runway lights and the fire station.

Today in a crisis, the airport would be up and running much faster moments after the first earthquake, the airport lost power.

Operators cancelled flight after flight.  There was no electricity to operate the security machines.  Empty planes sat at the gates.

There was no air conditioning, and as the terminals got more crowded, they became hot and stuffy.

There was not only a power outage, but a serious lack of communication.

But now, help is on the way.

"We are designing a backup power plant with Hawaiian Electric," said airport deputy director, Brian Sekiguchi.  "It's called joint use energy system, that would basically provide a hundred percent back up power."

"At this point additional studies have been done request for proposals is going out later this month at this point expect it to be up and running mid 2009," said Darren Pai of Hawaiian Electric Company.

The backup generator should be working by 2009.

In the meantime, the airport is using back up generators that will insure, flights get off the ground in the event of another outage.