Update: Kona airport runway expected to reopen at 1:30 p.m.

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

1:12 p.m. Feb. 13 update: Crews are doing the finishing touches and the runway at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport will be open at 1:30 p.m.

12:03 p.m. Feb. 13 update: The runway at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport is now expected to reopen at 1 p.m. after a delivery delay of a load of asphalt. 

According to Hawai‘i Department of Transportation, the shuttle buggy that transfers the paving material broke down during overnight repairs. The contractor brought another in, and equipment is operational. 

However, as the asphalt that was brought to the site had cooled to the point it could not be used, additional asphalt needed to be produced at the Waimea plant and trucked to the site.

8:18 a.m. Feb. 13 update: The Hawaii Department of Transportation is now estimating that the runway will reopen at 12 p.m.


The department is asking people with scheduled flights to check with their airline before coming to the airport.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Original post: The runway at the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole will not open as planned following overnight repairs due to equipment malfunction and asphalt cooling.

The airport’s sole runway was closed at midnight and expected to reopen at 6 a.m. to allow crews to repair cracks found in the asphalt in January.


Hawai‘i Department of Transportation will update when the runway reopens, which is estimated to be at 9 a.m. Travelers with a scheduled flight out of Kona are advised to contact their airline before coming to the airport.

“We will regroup with the contractor before any nightly repairs continue,” officials stated.

The first crack was discovered in the morning of Jan. 16. Measuring 8 inches long by 2 inches wide, staff watched it throughout the day and noticed little change, however, by 2:30 p.m. the small crack had turned into a 3-foot hole, said Hawai‘i Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen the day the cracks were found.

Between the accelerated degradation and the potential for further damage in other parts of the runway, Sniffen said, the decision was made to close the runway at 4:20 p.m., resulting in 26 flights — 17 interisland and nine transpacific — being disrupted.


The state planned to make temporary repairs overnight.

This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a full-time reporter for Pacific Media Group. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.

Tiffany can be reached at [email protected].
Read Full Bio

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments