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Kapalua Airport (West Maui)

Hawaiian Airlines developed and constructed Kapalua Airport for less than $9 million after the private Kaanapali Airstrip was closed.  The airport opened on March 1, 1987. The airport is located in West Maui, approximately .03 miles above Honoapiilani Highway on 57 acres of land.

The airport consists of a single non-precision and visual 3,000-foot runway, passenger terminal, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting station, Universal Communications Tower (UNICOM) and a 500-gallon fuel storage tank.  There is one full-time maintenance position.

Operations at the airport are governed by County of Maui Ordinance 1535 and State Administrative Rules 19-39.  Operations are limited to daylight hours only; no jets or helicopters are allowed.  Flights are limited to 70 per day.  Aircraft can be parked for not more than 45 minutes in duration.  Practice or training flights are not allowed and no rental cars can be parked or stored at the airport.

Kapalua is served by commercial propeller air carriers and commuter/air taxi aircraft between West Maui and Honolulu. 

FAA federal funds have not been utilized at Kapalua due to the county and state restrictions.

The State Department of Transportation purchased Kapalua-West Maui Airport from Hawaiian Airlines in October 1992.  The airport began operating under ownership of DOT on April 1, 1993. Hawaiian ceased its operations at the airport.

Mahalo Air resumed daily scheduled service on July 1, 1996 using ATR-42 turbo prop planes.  Service was halted until a runway obstruction was removed.

Act 116, SLH 1998, appropriated $250,000 to design and construct a Precision Approach Path Indicator System.

A single-engine Cessna Caravan carrying freight for Federal Express collapsed on landing October 27, 1998, resulting in the closing of the runway until the aircraft was cleared.

The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 resulted in the Federal Aviation Administration shutting down all U.S. airports for three days.  The aviation system was then incrementally restored as airport and air carriers complied with new safety and security requirements, including heightened passenger security screening.

The attacks had a major financial impact on the aviation industry, accelerating an already deteriorating financial condition for airlines.  Hawaii airports were impacted greatly with a decrease in flights and passengers.

After the attack, Island Air shut down its operations at Kahului Airport and transferred all Maui flights to West Maui.  The company also took over some Aloha flights between Maui, Kona and Hilo.  The airline began operating 38 daily flights out of Kapalua using deHavilland Dash-8 turboprop aircraft with a capacity of 37 seats.

An extension to the ARFF Building was completed in February 2003.  Cost: $75,000.

In July 2003, phase III of the architectural barrier removal was completed. 


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