Aloha Air Cargo groundbreaking marks beginning of $750 million in renovations

By Lara Yamada
Published On: May 02 2013 06:53:00 PM HST

The biggest airport expansion project Hawaii has ever seen is now underway. It is the start of a 4-year, $750 million renovation project for Honolulu International Airport.

HONOLULU -

It is the start of a four year, $750 million renovation project for Honolulu International Airport.

On Thursday, officials broke ground at the site of the first phase off Elliot Street, where Aloha Air Cargo will be spending $12 million of its own money to build a new facility.

The state will pick up the tab to tear down its old location nearby.

"This is a terrific example of a public-private partnership," said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Also included is a new a Diamond Head commuter terminal with wider and more taxiways, as well as a second mauka concourse next to the interisland terminal.

Officials said the expansion should make it easier to handle traffic during peak hours, adding 10 new parking spots for planes and six new gates.

"Now we're seeing the uptick again and it's important for us to expand and modernize," said Department of Transportation spokesperson Caroline Sluyter.

Another big change: rental car companies will be consolidated into one central structure called CONRAC.

But what's going to sting for a while is the cutback on parking.

For the entire four years of construction, car rental companies will take over half of the 2,000 parking spots in the overseas parking terminal.

"There will be some changes, but people can park in both lots during that time and we believe it should be enough to handle the load," said Sluyter.

The overhaul does not include renovations to the older main and interisland terminals, but the state says it's been adding a number of cosmetic changes including more cultural designs and artwork, and it has its eyes on another round of changes in the future.

"We do want it to be a first-class destination, it is that first impression, and we want to make that happen," said Sluyter.

The Transportation Department has also completed $11 million in upgrades to the concession area, as well as spent $9 million on an escalator replacement project.

The entire project is expected to be completed in 2018.
 

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