A bill that would have created an airport corporation to manage Hawaii’s 15 airports, failed to make it out of the State Legislature by today’s deadline. The Hawai`i Department of Transportation and many other airport stakeholders strongly supported Senate Bill 658.
The following quotes are responses to the measure’s unsuccessful bid this legislative session.
“We are disappointed SB658, the airport corporation bill, did not survive this legislative session. An airport corporation would have added efficiency and reduced redundancy, which would have helped construction projects finish faster. Airport management does not have control over the decision making that would deliver first class airports. Without systematic changes the public should not expect significant changes at our airports. That said we will continue to manage with the resources we have available for the 34 million passengers who fly to and from Hawaii’s 15 airports each year,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director. “We thank Attorney General Doug Chin for working with us and we will continue to work with the Legislature to address any concerns on the issue. We will not give up on making a difference.”
“We credit Director Fuchigami with thinking outside the box in trying to solve airport related issues. Taking the State out of airport management is a complex idea with a variety of factors. It is not uncommon for huge changes like this to take time before gaining final approval,” said State of Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin.
“Like the traveling public we want Hawaii to have world class airports, but SB658’s failure to move forward will now set us all back,” said Blaine Miyasato, Co-chair of the Airlines Committee of Hawaii, which is made up of 20 signatory air carriers that contributes more than half of the State airport system budget.
“Let’s be honest and not just critical. Without fundamental changes our airports will not improve. Without an airport corporation, the Airports Division will do the best it can, but don’t expect things to drastically improve,” said Jim Stone, Airport Concessionaires Committee, which represents the retailers, restaurants and businesses that operate at Hawaii’s airports and contributes to the State airport system budget.