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DOT Predicts Summer Travel Boom to Hawaii

April 9, 2021, 1:11 PM HST
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The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation is predicting a summer travel boom.

Preliminary visitor statistics show an average of 20,906 passengers arriving daily, which is approximately 70-percent of pre-COVID numbers. HDOT put out a release Friday, April 9, encouraging those planning to fly into or from Hawaiʻi’s Airports to prepare for a busy summer travel season.

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Given the current trends, HDOT recommended that departing travelers follow the tips from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) such as arriving more than two hours prior to departure and checking baggage to save time at security checkpoints. The full TSA release can be found here.

HDOT is anticipating a significant increase in passenger numbers over the summer at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Kahului Airport, Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole, Hilo International Airport, and Lῑhuʻe Airport. Travelers are encouraged to plan and prepare if they will be making trips through these airports, especially during the peak times between 10 am and 3 pm.

Travelers departing from HNL are also reminded that they may use any of the available TSA checkpoints throughout HNL regardless of their airline or gate. If one checkpoint has a long line, it may be better to go to the next available checkpoint. A map of the nine TSA checkpoints at HNL is available at this link.

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All travelers should visit HawaiiCovid19.com before their trip for the latest travel guidance, including links to trusted travel and testing partners and information on what to expect during the post-arrival screening process at Hawaiʻi Airports. HDOT advises that use of an airline participating in the State of Hawaii Pre-Departure Document Check (PDDC) program can expedite this process. Participants in PDDC will be processed before flying to Hawaiʻi.

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Airlines voluntarily participating in PDDC can validate Safe Travels approved COVID tests and Travel and Health Forms or assist travelers in completing quarantine paperwork. Once validated, a PDDC passenger can depart from the airport after deplaning subject to any requirements of the county. Travelers that do not participate in PDDC must undergo verification of their Safe Travel documentation at Hawaiʻi airports.

All travelers should note that there is a statewide mask mandate requiring everyone age five and up to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in public. The mask mandate applies regardless of an individual’s vaccination or COVID testing status. Travelers should also be prepared to wear a face covering onboard their flights and are encouraged to check with their air carrier for information on their COVID protocols.

HDOT continues to offer hand sanitizing stations for use within airport terminals and encourages travelers to work together to create physical distance between themselves and others when possible. With everyone’s assistance and cooperation, airports can be kept safe and healthy.

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