Transforming Hawai’i’s airports for a better experience

Posted on Aug 29, 2018 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

Gov. Ige with Rick Jauert and Andy Ocetnik at the new Makai Plantation.

From free unlimited Wi-Fi to more retail and restaurant space and renovated restrooms, the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is in the midst of a transformation as the state’s busiest airline hub. Wi-Fi upgrades and other major improvements are also underway for airports on the neighbor islands.

The Wi-Fi is available through Boingo Wireless, which operates wireless networks in major airports, stadiums, campuses, military bases and commercial properties throughout the world. The state is also partnering with DFS and HMSHost on more than $69 million worth of improvements themed around Ho‘okipa, the Hawaiian value of hospitality, to offer travelers the best of the islands’ food and gift items.


A view of a From Hawaii with Love store.

“The public-private partnership is a win for both sides because the State of Hawai‘i and taxpayers didn’t pay for the improvements,” said Governor Ige. DFS opened new duty-free specialty boutiques while HMSHost now offers The Local and Makai Plantation, marketplace with locally sourced dishes such as ahi poke and furikake crusted ahi salad.

The Airports Division of the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation has been recognized for its management strength in upgraded bond ratings, resulting in $27 million in savings for the state through refinancing. The improvements include adding up to 11 gates and more terminal space at the Honolulu airport, a new rental car facility at Kahului Airport, opening Kona’s Ellison Onizuka International Airport as the state’s second international port of entry, and accommodating larger aircraft and Southwest Airlines.

Read more in September Capitol Connection newsletter