Small Honolulu airport tenants to see big rent hike

Small Honolulu airport tenants to see big rent hike
Updated: Nov. 22, 2016 at 5:50 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rents are going up more than 40 percent for dozens of small, general aviation tenants at Honolulu International Airport, and some of those companies said the increases could put them out of business.

"It's going to hurt," said Patrick McNamee, director of operations at Pacific Air Charters. "If we can't be profitable, if we can't at least cover our costs, we'll go out of business."

McNamee said Pacific Air's rents will go from $3,400 a month to nearly $4,800.

It's all part of a 44 percent rent hike proposed by the state Department of Transportation for its general aviation tenants.

Aircraft tie-down rents at Kalaeloa Airport will go up by 225 percent.

General aviation covers flight companies that don't fly regularly scheduled passenger or cargo service. That includes air charters, flight schools, air ambulances and other services.

Experts said that many of these companies are barely profitable and that large rent hikes will force them to shut down.

"You can't get away from tying down a plane or parking in a hangar so for the marginally profitable companies. This is possibly the straw that breaks the camel's back," said local aviation historian Peter Forman.

The Department of Transportation said the increase is based on rising land values due to the booming economy, and that the rents for general aviation tenants are actually discounted by 40 percent.

Meanwhile, McNamee worries the state won't use rent increase to improve the hangars, which of which are in sad shape.

"They never put the money into to maintain it, You can look up here and see this whole building is full of termite damage," he said.

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