State to build Kona immigration facility by fall

Published: Aug. 19, 2016 at 8:46 AM HST
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KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - HONOLULU (AP) - The state of Hawaii aims to finish building a new immigration facility at Kailua-Kona's airport one month before Hawaiian Airlines launches direct flights there from Tokyo.

Department of Transportation Deputy Director Ross Higashi said Thursday the state is "feverishly moving" to get the facility ready by November. Hawaiian plans to start flying to Kona from Tokyo on Dec. 20.

The immigration facility will be temporary, Higashi told industry leaders at a meeting of the Pacific Asia Travel Association's Hawaii chapter. The department plans to build a permanent Kona international arrivals building to comply with federal standards.

Hawaiian's new route will bring a regularly scheduled direct flight from Japan to the Big Island for the first time since 2010. That's the year Japan Airlines stopped flying its Tokyo-Kona route.

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