Honolulu International Airport: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Honolulu International Airport
Airport type Public / Military
Owner State of Hawaii
Operator Department of Transportation
Location Honolulu, Hawaii
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 13 ft / 4 m
Website hawaii.gov/hnl
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4L/22R 6,952 2,119 Asphalt
4R/22L 9,000 2,743 Asphalt
4W/22W 3,000 914 Water
8L/26R 12,300 3,749 Asphalt
8R/26L 12,000 3,658 Asphalt
8W/26W 5,000 1,524 Water
Statistics (2007)
Aircraft operations 310,607
Based aircraft 206
Total passengers 21,505,855
Total cargo 389,054
Sources: The State of Hawaii Department of Transportation, Airports Division[1]; Federal Aviation Administration[2]

Honolulu International Airport (IATA: HNLICAO: PHNLFAA LID: HNL) is the principal aviation gateway of the City & County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii and is identified as one of the busiest airports in the United States, with traffic now exceeding 21 million passengers a year and rising.[1]

It is located in the Honolulu census-designated place three miles (5 km) northwest of Oahu's central business district.[2][3] Main roads leading to the airport are Nimitz Highway and the Queen Liliuokalani Freeway of Interstate H-1.

Honolulu International Airport serves as the principal hub of Hawaiian Airlines, the largest Hawaii-based airline. Hawaiian offers flights between the various airports of the Hawaiian Islands and also serve the continental United States, Australia, Samoa, Tahiti and the Philippines. It is host to major United States and international airlines, with direct flights to American, Asian, and Pacific Rim destinations.

It is also the base for Aloha Air Cargo, which previously offered both passenger and cargo services. Aloha ceased passenger flights on March 31, 2008, but continues to operate cargo service under new ownership.

In 2007, the airport handles 310,607 aircraft operations and served 21,505,855 passengers while processing 389,054 tons of cargo[1].



HNL opened in March 1927 as John Rodgers Airport, named after World War I naval officer John Rodgers. [4] It was funded by the territorial legislature and the Chamber of Commerce, and was the first full airport in Hawaii: aircraft had previously been limited to small landing strips, fields or seaplane docks. From 1939 to 1943, the adjacent Keehi Lagoon was dredged for use by seaplanes, and the dredged soil was moved to HNL to provide more space for conventional airplanes.[citation needed]

The U.S. military grounded all civilian aircraft and took over all civilian airports after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Rodgers Field was designated Naval Air Station Honolulu. The Navy built a control tower and terminal building, and some civilian commercial traffic was allowed during daylight hours. Rodgers Field was returned to the territory in 1946. At the time, at 4,019 acres, it was one of the largest airports in the U.S., with four paved land runways and three seaplane runways.[4]

John Rodgers Airport was renamed Honolulu Airport in 1947; the word "International" was added to the name in 1951.[4] Due to its proximity to the center of the Pacific Ocean, it was historically a stop for many transpacific flights to and from North America. By 1950, it was the third-busiest airport in the United States in terms of aircraft operations, and its 13,097-foot runway was declared the longest in the world in 1953.[4] In 1959, Qantas began the first jet service to Honolulu as a stop on its flights between Australia and California. [5] Aeronautical engineer and airline consultant, Frank Der Yuen, advised in the design of the original building and founded its aerospace museum. [6]

The original terminal building was replaced by the John Rodgers Terminal, which was dedicated on August 22, 1962 and opened for passenger traffic on October 14, 1962.[4] This terminal was expanded several times with the addition of the Diamond Head Concourse in 1970, the Ewa Concourse in 1972 and the Central Concourse in 1980. [7]

With the advent of ultra-long range aircraft, most transpacific flights no longer need to stop at Honolulu. As such, the airport has seen a notable decrease in international passenger traffic over the years, particularly to Australia, the South Pacific and southeast Asia. However, Honolulu has continued to see major growth in the domestic market as major airlines have added frequent and even non-stop links to large, previously unserved markets such as Phoenix, Newark, Denver and Atlanta.[citation needed]

Future plans

The new terminal expansions (red) on depicted as part of the $2.3 billion modernization Hawaii Airports Modernization program.

On March 24, 2006, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle unveiled a $2.3 billion modernization program for Hawaii airports over a 12-year period, with $1.7 billion budgeted for Honolulu International Airport.[8] The plan involves implementing short-term projects within the first five years to improve passenger service and increase security and operational efficiencies.[9]

As part of the modernization program, flight display monitors throughout the airport have been upgraded, new food and beverage vendors have been added, and a new parking garage across from the International Arrivals terminal has been completed. Current projects include an international arrivals corridor with moving sidewalks built atop the breezeway leading to the Ewa Concourse. The first phase of the project was completed in October 2009, with the remainder slated to be completed in 2010.[10]

Future near-term projects include construction of a Mauka Concourse branching off the Interisland Terminal, the first concourse expansion at HNL in 15 years. Construction of the concourse will involve replacing the existing Commuter Terminal.[11]


HNL's old control tower

Honolulu International Airport is part of a centralized state structure governing all of the airports and seaports of Hawaiʻi. The official authority of Honolulu International Airport is the Governor of Hawaiʻi, who appoints the Director of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Transportation who has jurisdiction over the Hawaiʻi Airports Administrator.

The Hawaiʻi Airports Administrator oversees six governing bodies: Airports Operations Office, Airports Planning Office, Engineering Branch, Information Technology Office, Staff Services Office, Visitor Information Program Office. Collectively, the six bodies have authority over the four airport districts in Hawaiʻi: Hawaiʻi District, Kauaʻi District, Maui District and the principal Oʻahu District. Honolulu International Airport is a subordinate of the Oʻahu District officials.

Facilities and aircraft

The Reef Runway with Honolulu in the background

The airport has four major runways, which it shares with the neighbouring Hickam Air Force Base. The principal runway designated 8R/26L, also known as the Reef Runway, was the world's first major runway constructed entirely offshore. Completed in 1977, the Reef Runway is a designated alternate landing site for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration space shuttle program in association with Hickam Air Force Base, which shares Honolulu International Airport's airfield operations.[12]

In addition to the four paved runways, Honolulu International Airport has two designated offshore runways designated 8W/26W and 4W/22W for use by seaplanes.

The entire terminal complex features twenty-four hour medical services, restaurants, shopping centers and a business center with conference rooms for private use. Passengers have the option of using various short-term and long-term parking structures on the grounds of Honolulu International Airport.

For the 12-month period ending December 8, 2006, the airport had 323,726 aircraft operations, an average of 886 per day: 55% scheduled commercial, 26% general aviation, 15% air taxi and 5% military. There are 206 aircraft based at this airport: 48% single-engine, 27% multi-engine, 16% military, 6% helicopter and 3% jet.[2]


Honolulu International Airport has three terminal buildings. A fleet of Chance RT-52 buses provide interterminal transportation between the ticket counters of all three terminals and between the concourses in the Interisland and Main terminals. The WikiWikiWeb is a namesake of these buses, known as "Wiki Wiki" buses (from the Hawaiian word for "fast").

The largest airline at Honolulu airport is Hawaiian Airlines offering 13,365 seats per day, which represents a 45% market share. The #2 and #3 carriers are United and Japan Airlines (JAL) with 7.7% and 7.4% market share respectively.


Traffic between Honolulu and the US mainland is dominated by flights to and from Los Angeles and San Francisco. These two cities, plus Vancouver and Seattle, account for more than half of all flights between the mainland and Honolulu. Hawaiian Airlines, with 10 routes, has the highest market share on routes between Honolulu and the mainland.[13]

Internationally Japan is the dominant market. Two-thirds of international seats are heading either for Nagoya, Osaka Kansai or Tokyo Narita with services provide by JALways/Japan Airlines, Air Japan, China Airlines, Delta or United. Narita alone is served with 61 weekly departures with Japanese carriers operating twice as many flights as US carriers.[13]

Other major international routes are to Sydney (12 weekly departures operated by Hawaiian, Jetstar and Qantas) and Vancouver (19 weekly departures spread between Air Canada and Westjet). This makes Westjet the only genuine low-cost carrier serving Hawaii.[13]

In October 2009, China-based Hainan Airlines was granted approval for a nonstop flight from Honolulu to Beijing. Service is expected to commence in early 2010[14]. It will be the first mainland Chinese carrier to serve Hawaii and the airline's second US destination after Seattle. The airline plans to launch the service to China by Summer of 2010.[15]


Commuter Terminal (Gates 71-80)

The Commuter Terminal serves smaller airlines which operate flights between both the smaller and major commercial airports in the island chain.

Interisland Terminal (Gates 49-61)

Inter-island terminal

The Interisland Terminal mainly serves the interisland and some US Mainland flights and Departing International Flights (gate 54) of Hawaiian Airlines. It is designed to handle flights of jet aircraft between the major commercial airports in the Hawaiian Islands. The formerly Aloha Airlines and Mokulele Airlines Alii Lounge has been converted to the second Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club Lounge near Gate 56.

On the ground level, Hawaiian Airlines uses Baggage Claim B for U.S. Mainland arrivals; Baggage Claim C is used for interisland arrivals. Flights on Hawaiian, coming from Papeete, Pago Pago, and Manila, use the International Arrivals Baggage Claim located in the Main Terminal. Mokulele Airlines and Aloha Airlines used to use Baggage Claim C.

Main Terminal (Gates 6-34)

Main overseas terminal's departure area

The Main Overseas Terminal serves U.S domestic and international destinations. All boarding gates in the Main Overseas Terminal at Honolulu International are common use, shared among all airlines, and may change daily as the need arises. No gates are assigned to any specific airline.

On February 5, 2007, the Hawaii State Department of Transportation announced a plan to construct a $45 million international arrivals corridor to connect the third floor of the Ewa Concourse directly to the International Arrivals Building and the rest of the airport. Construction began in 2008. The first phase opened on October 15, 2009, while the entire project is expected to be complete by August 2010. [16]

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Lobby
Air Canada Calgary [seasonal], Vancouver 4
Air New Zealand Auckland 4
Air Pacific Apia, Nadi 4
Alaska Airlines Anchorage, Seattle/Tacoma 4
All Nippon Airways operated by Air Japan Tokyo-Narita 4
American Airlines Chicago-O'Hare [resumes April 7], Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, San Francisco 7
China Airlines Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita 4
Continental Airlines Houston-Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, Orange County 7
Continental Airlines operated by Continental Micronesia Chuuk, Guam, Kosrae, Kwajalein, Majuro, Nadi, Pohnpei 7
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit [begins June 2][17], Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Osaka-Kansai, Portland (OR), Salt Lake City, San Diego [begins June 3][18], San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Tokyo-Narita 4
go! Mokulele operated by Mesa Airlines Hilo, Kahului, Kona, Lihue 1
Hawaiian Airlines Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Manila, Oakland, Pago Pago, Papeete, Phoenix, Portland (OR), Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma, Sydney 2
Hawaiian Airlines Hilo, Kahului, Kona, Lihue 3
Island Air Kahului, Kapalua, Lanaʻi, Molokaʻi 1
Japan Airlines operated by JALways Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita 5
Jetstar Airways Sydney 4
Korean Air Seoul-Incheon 4
Omni Air International Las Vegas 6
Mokulele Airlines Molokaʻi 1
Pacific Wings Kalaupapa, Molokaʻi 1
Philippine Airlines Manila 4
Qantas Sydney 4
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo-Narita 8
US Airways Charlotte, Phoenix 6
WestJet Calgary [seasonal], Vancouver, Victoria (BC) [seasonal] 4
Cities with direct international passenger airlinks with Honolulu International Airport

Castle & Cooke Aviation

Castle & Cooke Aviation is a fixed base operator providing general aviation services located along Lagoon Drive. It's facility is used as the departure and arrival terminal for weekly charter flights to Kiritimati.

Airlines Destinations
Te Mauri Travel operated by Maritime Air Charters Kiritimati

Public transport

TheBus routes 19, 20, and 31 stop on the upper (departure) level of the airport. Routes 19 and 20 connect the airport to Pearlridge Center (20 only), Hickam AFB (19 only), Downtown Honolulu, Ala Moana Center, and Waikiki. Route 31 connects the airport to Tripler Army Medical Center, via Kalihi Transit Center. Routes 9, 40, 40A, 42, and 62 run on Nimitz Highway within walking distance of the airport.

Accidents and incidents

There have been three major air traffic incidents that caused air traffic controllers and federal emergency officials at Honolulu International Airport to be placed on emergency alert. All three resulted in fatalities, and one involved a global terrorist plot that some consider a precursor to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

  • Pan Am Flight 830: a bomb exploded aboard as the aircraft prepared for approach to Honolulu International Airport from Tokyo on August 11, 1982. One teenager was killed and 15 others were injured. The aircraft did not disintegrate, and made a safe emergency landing in Honolulu.
Aloha Airlines Flight 243 after landing at Kahului Airport, 1988
  • Aloha Airlines Flight 243: flying from Hilo to Honolulu International Airport on April 28, 1988, experienced a rapid decompression. An 18 foot long (5m) section of the fuselage roof and sides were torn from the airplane, due to metal fatigue. Out of the 89 passengers and 6 crew members, the only fatality was a flight attendant blown out of the airplane. Several passengers sustained life-threatening injuries. The aircraft diverted to Kahului Airport.
  • United Airlines Flight 811: a Boeing 747 carrying 3 flight crew, 15 cabin crew and 337 passengers from Honolulu to Auckland on February 24, 1989, suffered rapid decompression when a cargo door separated from the aircraft after takeoff from the Reef Runway. Nine passengers were swept from the aircraft. The plane returned to Honolulu.
  • Bojinka plot: a plot discovered by US and Filipino intelligence authorities after a fire in a Manila apartment, included in its first phase the planned explosion of several flights inbound to, or outbound from, Honolulu on January 21, 1995.


  1. ^ a b c "The State of Hawaii Airport Activity Statistics By Year 2007-1994", Department of Transportation, Airports Division, State of Hawaii.
  2. ^ a b c FAA Airport Master Record for HNL (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-12-20
  3. ^ "Honolulu CDP, HI." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Honolulu International Airport...Celebrating 80 years" (PDF). Gateway to the Pacific: Honolulu International Airport 80th Anniversary. Hawaii Department of Transportation, Airports Division. 2007. http://hawaii.gov/hawaiiaviation/publications/hnl-gateway-brochure/Airport-timeline-web.pdf. Retrieved 12 January 2009. "John Rodgers Airport was dedicated March 21, 1927. The field was named in honor of the late Commander John Rodgers, who had been Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Station at Pearl Harbor from 1923 and 1925..." 
  5. ^ "HNL 1960-1969". Hawaii Department of Transportation, Airports Division. 2007. http://hawaii.gov/hnl/airport-information/hnl-1960-1969. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  6. ^ Trevor James Constable (2008). "ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: A detailed review of participants in and their contributions to etheric rain engineering since 1968". Etheric Rain Engineering Pte. Ltd.. http://www.rainengineering.com/acknowledgments.html. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "About the Program". Hawaii Airports Modernization Project. http://www.hawaiiairportsmodernization.com/12/about-the-program. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  9. ^ Reyes, B.J. (2006-03-25). "$2.3B airports upgrade proposed". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/03/25/news/story05.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  10. ^ "New International Arrivals Corridor Opens at Honolulu International Airport". Office of the Governor. http://hawaii.gov/gov/news/files/2009/october/hnl. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  11. ^ "What We're Doing Now: Honolulu International Airport". Hawaii Airports Modernization Project. http://www.hawaiiairportsmodernization.com/3/what-were-doing-now. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  12. ^ "Chronology of Aviation in Hawaii: 1980-1989". Hawaii Aviation. State of Hawaii Department of Transportation. http://hawaii.gov/hawaiiaviation/chronology-of-aviation-in-hawaii/1980-1989. 
  13. ^ a b c "Not so Happy Hawaii* sees capacity drop by 30% after Aloha’s collapse". anna.aero. 19 September 2008. http://www.anna.aero/2008/09/19/not-so-happy-hawaii-sees-capacity-drop-by-30-percent/. 
  14. ^ http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091012/ap_on_bi_ge/us_china_hawaii_flights_1
  15. ^ Hawaii flights by Chinese airline may not start until summer
  16. ^ "Honolulu airport opens $13.2M concourse with moving walkway". Hawaii DOT. 2009-10-15. http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091015/NEWS01/910150352/Honolulu+airport+opens++13.2M+concourse+with+moving+walkway. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  17. ^ Delta Adding New Flights to Hawaii
  18. ^ Delta Adding New Flights to Hawaii
  19. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19690627-0. Retrieved 7 October 2009. 
  20. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19710808-0. Retrieved 8 October 2009. 

External links

Coordinates: 21°19′07″N 157°55′21″W / 21.31861°N 157.9225°W / 21.31861; -157.9225


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address