United Airlines flight diverted due to Big Island runway damage

By Melvin Givens, Digital Editor, Digital Editor
Published On: Aug 06 2014 05:13:32 AM HST
Updated On: Jul 23 2014 04:24:17 PM HST
Hilo International Airport Repairs
HILO, Hawaii -

United Airlines flight 1004 traveling to Hilo has been diverted to Kona for a second day due to electrical runway damage.

State transportation officials say the Hilo International Airport suffered electrical damage due to lightning strikes after the remnants of Tropical Storm Wali hit the state and there was a problem with the runway lights.

Electricians responded after rains ended Monday, but were unable to complete the repairs before sundown. That forced flights to be diverted on Tuesday as well.

State officials say Hilo International Airport issued a notice of the outage to airlines, but only that United Airlines flight chose to divert to Kona International Airport.  They also say most air carriers have procedures that prohibit nighttime take-off or landing without runway lights.

Air carriers reportedly have made arrangements for passengers to be ferried between Hilo and Kona.

Electrical repairs are expected to continue through Tuesday night with a chance for crews to continue work on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, repairs were made to the runway lights at Hilo International Airport and nighttime flight operations will return to normal by Wednesday night.

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