You are here: Home

Hawaii's Aviation History

An archive of historic photos and information about aircraft, pilots and airports in the Hawaiian islands.

Welcome aboard!

As the Crossroads of the Pacific, Hawaii played a vital role in the development of both commercial and military air travel. The first flight in Hawaii occurred on December 31, 1910. It captured the imagination and hearts of residents who dreamed of traveling by air between islands and the Mainland, Asia and Australia.

On this site you'll find the incredible story of the first trans-Pacific flight by Navy Commander John Rodgers in 1925. Inter-Island Airways made its first commercial interisland flight in 1929, and Pan American Airways entered the trans-Pacific market in 1935. You'll find numerous historical documents, and information about the book Above the Pacific written by the late William J. Horvat and originally published in 1966.

This website features more than 4,000 photos from the collections of the Hawaii Department of Transportation, Hawaii State Archives, Hickam Air Force Base, the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, the U. S. Naval History Center, Marine Corp Base Hawaii and private collections. We welcome additions to our collection.

Aviation History Highlights

December 31, 1910--One hundred years ago on this date the first powered airplane flight in Hawaii took place at Sam Damon's Moanalua Polo Field about a mile north of Honolulu International Airport.  J. C. Bud Mars took off in a Curtiss P-18 biplane, the Skylark, as thousands of residents watched from the field and surrounding hillsides. Read more

New Histories of Hawaii Airports --

With the backing of the Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu and the Territorial Legislature, Hawaii's first airport opened in 1927--John Rodgers Airport (now Honolulu International Airport).  Over the next decade landing strips popped up across the islands. The military took over most landing fields during World War II and today's modern airports evolved from there. Click on Airfields & Airports for more information. Includes histories of Governor's Executive Orders and Airport Traffic Statistics from 1946-2009. . . Also added, a recap of Hawaii's aeronautical laws from 1915.


Hawaii Aviation is brought to you courtesy of the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation, Airports Division.