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New Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Station at ITO

August 12, 2016, 9:15 AM HST
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The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation, Airports Division, opened the new Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting station at the Hilo International Airport at the end of July 2016.

The new two-story, 21,000 square-foot facility includes an emergency operations center, four drive-through truck bays, a fueling area, and improved work and living quarters for firefighters.

The facility will also accommodate larger sized ARFF vehicles and provide training facilities to help firefighters perform at their highest capabilities.

“Keeping airport users safe is an enormous responsibility that we take to heart,” said Ford Fuchigami, HDOT director. “This new and improved fire station will help our dedicated state firefighters, and emergency medical responders with their day to day responsibilities, which includes responding to emergencies.”

Nearly 87% of the $18.8 million total was provided by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Airports Division provided the remaining $3 million. The new station is fully compliant with FAA requirements.


“We extend our gratitude to the FAA leadership for their support and dedication in bringing these improvements to Hilo,” said Ross Higashi, HDOT deputy director of the Airports Division. “We also thank the skilled firefighters and emergency medical responders who rush to an emergency when called upon.”


The exact move-in date will be coordinated with HDOT and the contractor to ensure there is no lapse in coverage during the transition to the new facility.

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State executives and head airport fire officers celebrate the completion of the new ARFF station at Hilo International Airport by untying the maile lei: (left to right) Steven Santiago, Assistant Airport District Manager; Chief Nawai Chartrand, Airport Fire Commander; Mayor Billy Kenoi; Ross Higashi, Airports Division Deputy Director; Representative Clift Tsuji; Representative Mark Nakashima; Senator Kaialii Kahele; Wil Okabe, Governer Ige’s East Hawaii Representative; Representative Richard Onishi; Chief Martinez Jacobs, Airports Fire Chief. HDOT photo.

 Kahu Kealoha blesses the airport firefighters during the dedication ceremony.

Kahu Kealoha blesses the airport firefighters during the AARF dedication ceremony. HDOT photo.

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The new AARF facility will accommodate larger vehicles and provide new training facilities and upgraded work spaces ensuring airport firefighters are well equipped to respond to emergencies. HDOT photo.

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Hilo International Airport’s new Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) station. HDOT photo.

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