Long-awaited rental car facility set to welcome its first travelers at Honolulu’s airport
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — A long-awaited $377 million rental car facility is set to open Wednesday at Honolulu’s airport and officials say it will improve the passenger experience.
Gov. David Ige and state officials attended a blessing ceremony for the building Tuesday, touting the new, five-story Consolidated Rental Car Facility that includes 4,600 stalls.
“Modernization such as this CONRAC should be celebrated because it creates economic opportunity for our communities by putting people to work and also by increasing capacity for on-site services and creating more jobs here on the facility,” Ige said, at the ceremony.
Ige added the facility will improve the passenger experience for the roughly 257,000 visitors and residents coming through the airport just in the month of October alone.
The 1.8-million-square-foot facility will include a rental vehicle staging and storage area, ground transportation center for airport customers and a spot for washing and fueling rental cars.
“It really provides flexibility, so besides the fact that it’s the car rental facility, with the downstairs, the availability of having tour companies use it, as far as passenger pickup … it really does offer a real versatility to this facility,” said state Department of Transportation spokesman Jai Cunningham.
There will also be a terminal area with four to five buses shuttling customers to and from the facility.
Construction on the project began in 2016.
But there have been delays, the first caused by a bid protest.
“We had some environmental issues as well,” said Ross Higashi, deputy director for the state Department of Transportation’s Airports Division.
“It’s a big facility. Like I said it’s muscular, massive facility. So it is what it is. We got it done and I’m just glad that it’s open now.”
Higashi said the completion of car rental facility will allow the airports division to focus on other modernization projects
“We will have a lot of behind-the-scenes projects such as the baggage handling system. Taxi ways and runways also have to be improved and renovated, repaired as well,” he said.
Although landing fees and other fees have declined during the pandemic, the state said it plans to use money from the new infrastructure bill to pay for future airport modernization projects.
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