13 February 2018

Governor Ige Announces New Diamond Head Concourse

Hawai‘i Governor David Ige announced today that the State of Hawai‘i will embark on a $1.1B modernized Diamond Head Concourse at the Daniel K Inouye International Airport. A project that has been overdue by a decade. It will add up to 14 gates, and a new Commuter Terminal. This also coincides with a Senate Bill, SB2996, that is seeking the creation of a Hawai‘i airports corporation.

Further coverage in this Hawaii News Now report, and the full announcement that was recorded and streamed by KHON2.

Back Story
In 2006, Governor Linda Lingle proposed a $2.3B / 12-year modernization project that would have revamped both ‘Ewa and Diamond Head Concourses, build a Mauka Extension to the Inter-Island Terminal, new hangar and facilities for Hawaiian Airlines, among other projects. Renderings can be found on the Hawai‘i Airports Modernization website, and HDOT has relied the site to reflect it's ongoing projects. When Neil Abercrombie was elected governor in 2008, he first said he wanted his predecessor's project to continue, but after a short time, he reneged on the full scope of the project, and only took on small parts of it. Hard pressed for modernization calls by the airlines, Governor David Ige brought us to the point we are today.

Analysis / Opinion
While the new Diamond Head Concourse is needed, other projects would be needed to be completed before, to alleviate an already congested midday peak traffic period. HDOT has a new Commuter Terminal on its plans in the same area as the proposed modernized concourse. This needs to be rectified, before real construction can begin.

First, the old Hawaiian Airlines / Aloha Air Cargo T-Hangar, and Hawaiian Airlines Cargo buildings will need to be torn down. This will allow extra taxiway space and potential hardstands.

Second, the Mauka Extension needs to be built. Although it will only have six wide-body gates (or 11 narrow-body gates), it will allow Hawaiian Airlines to move those aircraft to these gates.

Third, with the North Hardstands being eliminated, more ramp space needs to be built to accommodate aircraft parking spots. The old hangars east of the United Cargo facility should be torn down, and parking spots be put there. Also, the HDOT Baseyard, should be moved off-site, which allow more aircraft parking.

Fourth, then proceed with the construction of the new Diamond Head Concourse. However, in the image released by HDOT, the proposed concourse lacks a southward pier, that could hold up to six additional gates, which could definitely be utilized.

Fifth, the ‘Ewa concourse would probably be the next up for modernization, and finally the Center Concourse.

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