Private, Public Sectors Collaborate for a Unique Partnership

PEARL HARBOR (KHNL) -- A unique partnership between the private and public sectors is part of a growing trend in Hawaii. A commercial vessel is going through its dry dock period at Pearl Harbor. It's a process when a ship goes on dry land for repairs or improvements.

It means ships like the Pride of America can go through the dry dock process here in Hawaii, without having to go Asia or the mainland. This saves time, and keeps jobs in our state.

The Pride of America is the largest commercial vessel ever to be docked in Pearl Harbor. Without this private-public partnership, all of this work couldn't be done in Hawaii.

"Other than that, if we wouldn't have done that or been able to, the work would have had to go somewhere else because there are no private facilities anywhere in Hawaii that could accommodate that work," said Roger Kubischta, president and general manager of BAE Systems, an international defense and aerospace company.

The Navy only uses this facility 50 percent of the time, so it opened it up to private use.

"They said at that time, they didn't have any Navy ships scheduled," said Kubischta. "So they were able to block out a section of time for us, which enabled us to bid the job."

"We knew BAE was operating here in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, so overall this makes efficient use of existing facilities," said Alan Yamamoto, vice president of Hawaii operations for NCL America.

And there are other benefits to this partnership. Having the dry dock process at Pearl Harbor means a bunch of jobs are kept right here in Hawaii. About 1,400 people work around the clock on this 81,000-ton ship.

They also save about a week or so on commute time to the Hawaiian islands.

"We would have to factor in transit time, so this works out very well for us that we can complete a dry dock in a two weeks time frame and get the vessel back into service may 10th," said Yamamoto.

The companies involved in this partnership hope this sets a precedence, so other ships can follow suit.

The dry dock process will be finished by May 9, and the ship is scheduled to set sail around the Hawaiian islands the very next day, resuming regular seven-day cruises.