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FAA Grant to Rehabilitate Hilo Airport Runway

Posted May 14, 2014, 12:45 PM HST Updated May 14, 2014, 07:29 PM HST
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Hilo International Airport. DOT photo.

Hilo International Airport’s runway will be rehabilitated thanks to a $3.1 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The project will involve excavation to remove deteriorated sections of the runway and rebuilding it to provide a smooth, durable landing surface, said Caroline Sluyter, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

“Runways are under constant stress from aircraft take-offs and landings,” Sluyter said. “The rehabilitation will prolong the life of the runway by rebuilding the base and repaving the surface which will reduce the chance of foreign object debris.”

The funding is an important investment for the Big Island economy, US Sen. Brian Schatz said in announcing the grant.

“These federal funds will make sure Hilo International Airport has the resources it needs to make critical improvements, making it safer and easier for families and visitors to travel to and from Hawai‘i Island,” Schatz said.

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Hilo’s airport dates to a single landing strip built in 1929. It became General Lyman Field in 1953, and was renamed Hilo International Airport in 1976.

Its main runway, designated 8-26, is 9,800 feet long. Secondary Runway 3-21 is 5,600 feet in length. Each is 150 feet wide.

According to the airport’s website, the airport averages 263 aircraft operations of all types daily, including air taxi, military and general aviation, and 4,500 passengers each day.

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