HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A representative from the state Department of Transportation told a room full of pilots and private aviation owners on Monday they are facing double-digit rent increases.
The department's Airports Division wants to raise aircraft storage (tie down) by at least 120-percent. Monthly hangar rentals would go up 23-percent at Kalaeloa Airport, 20-percent at Dillingham Airfield, and 11-percent at the Honolulu International Airport.
It's less than a previous proposal. But the numbers still don't sit well with aviators who complain about old facilities and lagging maintenance.
"One good example is in Hilo, they have a 1960 T-hangar there that the roof is rusting away, the support beams are rusted away. The walls are termite ridden and they have had a 15-percent increase on that facility," said General Aviation Council of Hawaii President Rob Moore.
Moore says his main concern is the state's lack of transparency.
"If you look at the slides, yes, the rates are going down to what they had from the last proposal. But you go to the fundamental problems, maybe they are all too high because again how they figured the rates and the method they used to figuring those rates," Moore said.
General aviation includes all civilian flying except scheduled passenger airline services. That includes air ambulances, flight schools, and many other services.
Moore says thousands of pilots in Hawaii will be affected if this proposal goes through and fears it will force many aviation tenants to go out of business.
"That's something Hawaii can't afford. We are an aviation-oriented state. We rely upon that and general aviation is part of that whole aviation tree and if you kill the roots of general aviation, you kill the tree."
The representative from the Department of Transportation couldn't do an interview on camera but said the rates are scheduled to become effective October 1, 2017.