Airports Corporation Bill Passes Senate Committee
Senate Bill 666, which would establish the Hawai‘i Airports Corporation, passed the Senate Transportation Committee on a unanimous vote on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. It now heads to the Ways & Means Committee for consideration.
While the well-being of the state is substantially dependent on the efficient administration, development, management, and operation of its airports and air transportation infrastructure, responsibility for Hawai‘i’s airport planning, management, marketing, and capital development functions is currently distributed among a number of agencies. Distributed responsibility and involvement by multiple agencies, which sometimes have conflicting goals and priorities, results in inefficiency, delayed decision-making, and reduced effectiveness.
Instead, the state could achieve coordinated planning and development of the its air transportation system and infrastructure by establishing and giving a separate state entity overall jurisdiction and responsibility for aeronautics and airport facilities.
“As an island state, we are completely dependent on our airports,” said Sen. Lorraine R. Inouye, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “Our ability to plan and respond effectively to the many challenges we find in air transportation and infrastructure have been hampered by our lack of one central authority. This bill takes important steps toward addressing many of those concerns.”
The committee amended SB666 to incorporate suggestions from the Department of Transportation and the State Procurement Office that had been reflected in another Airports Corporation Bill, SB1536, which was introduced by the administration.
SB666 now passes to the Senate Ways and Means Committee for consideration.