Molokai Airport (Hoolehua Airport)
On July 15, 1927, aviators Emory Bronte and Ernest Smith made history when they crashed their Travelair monoplane City of Oakland into kiawe trees on the southeast coast of Molokai. It was the first successful trans-Pacific flight by civilians. The pair was expected to land at Wheeler Field on Oahu, but ran out of fuel over Molokai causing them to crash land. Neither was hurt although their plane was totaled. The men were in the air 24 hours before they ran out of gas.
The Territorial Legislature appropriated $5,000 for improvement of government land on Molokai for an airport through Act 257, SLH 1927. On December 15, 1927 the Territorial Governor signed Executive Order No. 307 setting aside an area of 204.8 acres of Territorial land for an airport at Hoolehua, Molokai. It was placed under the control and management of the Territorial Aeronautical Commission.
This was the only public landing field on Molokai. It was suitably, though temporarily, marked and cleared so that perfectly safe landings and take-offs could be made. It was proposed to eventually fully improve this field for all commercial and military purposes. The field could be used by the large and heavy trans-Pacific land planes expected to pass through the Territory.
In July 1928, the Territorial Aeronautics Commission (TAC) requested that the Superintendent of Public Works let a contract for a fence to be erected at the airport with the fence posts to be salt water cured kiawe. The TAC also asked that the Hawaii Homes Commission have the trees pulled from the airport and surface rock used to fill the ditches.
Inter-Island Airways inaugurated interisland air service from Honolulu to Molokai on November 11, 1929 in Sikorsky S-38 amphibians. The fare was $17.50.
Between the years of 1927 and 1942, the WPA aided the Territory with funds to gradually enlarge and improve the field which was originally a dirt strip.
In November 1929, the TAC approved the clearing of rocks and bushes from the upper end of the field at a cost of $200. Erection of a small waiting room and telephone booth at Hoolehua was authorized by members of the Commission on December 16, 1929. It was hoped that the Board of Harbor Commissioners would donate the material for the building. A pole and windsock were erected by the TAC in March 1930. In December 1930 boulders were removed near the rest house which were a hindrance to taxiing and taking off of ships. Cost: $75.
In July 1930, the TAC received a letter from Molokai requesting that the airport be named Molokai Airport, instead of Hoolehua Airport. The Commission officially adopted this name.
It was determined that water for the airport would come from the Hawaiian Homes Commission and require 2,700 feet of ¾ inch pipe, which was estimated to cost $20. The TAC also hoped to connect a telephone line to the airport when the HHC relocated their present lines so the wireless station could be connected. Cost was estimated at $200.
The Army requested transfer of a small portion of Molokai Airport in April 1931. The Governor suggested that the Army be permitted to occupy the designated area under a Revocable License. A license for a small area was executed September 2, 1931. The Army named their section Homestead Field.
On July 29, 1931, Governor’s Executive Order No. 494 withdrew .430 acres from the operation of Molokai Airport.
Approval for the clearing of the airport was approved in October 1931 at a cost of $300.
Governor’s Executive Order No. 595 dated October 17, 1933, returned 0.430 acres of land to the War Department that was previously covered by EO No. 307.
By 1937 Molokai Airport consisted of three runways—1,000, 2,600 and 2,600 feet long, 300 feet wide with 100 feet of grading on each side. The U.S. Army maintained a radio station and Inter-Island Airways, Ltd. had a Station House at the field.
Governor’s Executive Order No. 664 withdrew 2.295 acres of land at Homestead Field Military Reservation (Molokai Airport) from the operation of EO No. 307 and transferred it by EO No. 665 to the Army for a radio station in 1935. This station was moved to a new location in 1938.
During 1938 the Territory exchanged 27.23 acres of unused land on the west side of the field for 20.78 acres at the southwest corner of the field with the Hawaiian Homes Commission for an extension to the runway. Governor’s Executive Order No. 809 dated July 15, 1938 added 20.78 acres of land to Molokai Airport under the control and management of the Superintendent of Public Works.
In 1939 the U.S. Army requested an exchange of their reservation on the south side of the field for a new location on the north side between the A and C runways. They moved their buildings to the new location to the benefit of all.
Act 35, SLH 1941, appropriated $6,000 for a control tower.
On January 30, 1941 Governor’s Executive Order No. 923 set aside 2.728 acres for the uses and purposes of the USA for the Molokai Airport Military Reservation. An additional 14.108 acres was transferred by EO No. 936 on May 2, 1941 for the use of the USA for Molokai Airport Naval Reservation. EO No. 941 on May 8, 1941 withdrew land from the operation of EO No. 307 and cancelled EO 307 to make proper adjustments of the boundaries to provide for the needs of the Army and Navy.
Molokai Airport was one of the principal airports of the Territory during the pre-war development of aviation in the Islands. The site was recognized by allocations of Federal funds as follows:
September 1940 WPA $ 60,000
December 1940 CAA 199,000
July 1941 CAA 269,000
November 1941 CAA 60,000
On December 7, 1941 the airport was taken over by the Army and Navy and the services remained in responsible possession of the airport in 1947. During this period the U.S. Army made extensive improvements. Some of the improvements were beneficial to the increased civilian use to come, but others were unnecessary and in some cases even undesirable from a civil aviation standpoint.
Beneficial items consisted of two paved runways, one 4,400 feet in length and the other 3,200 feet in length, each with a width of 200 feet; taxiways, plane parking areas and lighting of the Runway 5-23. However, extensive repairs were needed to the paved surfaces and to replace the inadequate and obsolete runway lighting system. Undesirable features included earth revetments and air raid shelters, some of which had to be removed because they were hazards to aviation.
The only terminal facility at the airport belonged to Hawaiian Airlines, Ltd. The sewer, water and power systems were hurriedly constructed and were excessive to commercial needs. Plans were made to construct a modern joint passenger and freight building to meet the needs of the public on Molokai.
Governor’s Executive Order No. 1019, dated May 10, 1943 placed Molokai Airport, including 153.27 acres, under the control and management of the Superintendent of Public Works.
The Territorial DPW prepared a Master Plan for Molokai Airport in May 1944 showing two runways. The CAA Region IX approved the proposed improvements for Molokai Airport in the 1947 National Airport Plan.
By agreement with the U.S. Army, the Territory assumed responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the airport early in 1947. However, most of the permanent improvements were delayed because title to the property did not revert to the Territory until April 15, 1952. Some items, critical from a safety standpoint, could not be delayed but expenditures were held to a minimum.
Repairs were made to the existing runway lights, installation of a revolving beacon, obstruction lights, and three flashing hazard beacons on prominent hills in the vicinity of the field.
Act 32 of the 1947 Legislature, placed Molokai Airport under the management of the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission effective July 1, 1947.
In 1947 the Territorial Superintendent of Public Works proposed readapting Molokai Airport to the requirements of commercial aviation. This included an extension of the North-South Runway, fences, an administration and terminal building for inter-island operators and passengers, a rotating beacon, a seal coat for all paved areas, improvement of drainage which were not properly provided for in the hurried war-time construction, and the removal of certain revetments which were too close to the runways and considered hazardous to aircraft operation.
In addition to its peace-time function the airport had continuing importance to the Army and Navy. The extension of the North-South Runway was particularly important because the runway was not adequate for large aircraft except with restricted loading.
“The airport is fully recognized by the Territorial Government as a principal unit of the Territorial Airport System. The Superintendent of Public Works contemplates recommending to the 1947 Legislature the appropriation of funds to carry out certain of the above described projects,” the DPW report stated.
- On September 14, 1947 George Wills of the Molokai Electric Company was employed as Supervisor of Molokai Airport on a part-time basis at $100 a month.
- The Territorial Highway Department’s request to use an 80-foot right-of-way at Molokai Airport was approved on November 24, 1947 for the construction of Maunaloa Road.
- The HAC authorized the expenditure on May 3, 1949 of $2,000 for the purpose of improving the terminal facilities to be occupied by Trans-Pacific Airlines.
- Act 368, SLH 1949, appropriated $54,450 for improvements to Molokai Airport.
- On April 17, 1950 the Commission agreed to discontinue charging airlines for the use of lights at Molokai Airport.
By 1950 there were three scheduled operators supplying service to Molokai. Hawaiian Airlines operated two passenger flights daily in each direction from Molokai to Oahu. In addition Hawaiian had twice weekly freight service. Trans-Pacific Airlines operated one passenger flight daily in each direction. Trans-Air Hawaii, a scheduled air freight line, operated three flights weekly into Molokai.
The Hawaii Aeronautics Commission accepted custody of surplus Army and Air Force Buildings from the military. Some of these buildings were made into much needed housing facilities and five families made their homes at the airport.
Commercial aviation activity increased considerably during 1950. Approximately 280,000 pounds of freight consisting largely of pineapple seeds were originated in September 1950 and carried by Trans-Air Hawaii; and with 170,000 pounds of incoming freight totaled about 450,000 pounds of air freight handled on this field in one month for an all time high record. Passenger traffic showed a steady increase and resulted in additional scheduled flights by Hawaiian Airlines and Trans-Pacific Airlines.
During 1951 a comprehensive program of improvements was undertaken. Removal of dirt revetments adjacent to the runways improved ground visibility and landing conditions on the prevailing wind runway. Hills in the vicinity of the airport were marked with flashing hazard lights enabling night operations to be carried out. New time clocks and an auxiliary generator set for night lighting were installed along with additional obstruction lights on the field. A Jeep crash fire truck was put into operation.
Location of this field was such that during heavy rains excess mud and water flowed onto the operating area, sometimes necessitating closing the field until an emergency crew was able to clean up. A system of drainage ditches was designed and completed in September 1953 to alleviate this condition. Cost: $29,460.
Runway resurfacing was performed in 1952.
Other highlights of the 1950s:
- Governor’s Executive Order No. 1611 dated February 1, 1954 set aside 10.321 acres for an addition to Molokai Airport.
- The rehabilitation of runway 5-23, parking aprons and taxiway at Molokai Airport was completed on September 13, 1954. Cost: $22,833.
- In 1955, the airport consisted of 288 acres of land, with two paved runways, 5-23, which was 200-feet wide and 4,500-feet long, and Runway 17-35, which was 200-feet wide and 3,100 feet long.
- Hawaiian Airlines, Ltd. and Trans-Pacific Airlines, Ltd., provided scheduled service to Molokai, and Andrew Flying Service flew on a non-scheduled basis. Aeronautical services included paved runways and warm up aprons, paved taxiway and aprons, wind socks, runway lights, lighted wind tee, obstruction lights, flashing hazard beacons, revolving beacon, weather observation station (TPA) and crash and fire protection.
- On October 22, 1955 the HAC directed the DPW to complete plans and specifications for a new terminal building at Molokai and that staff apply for federal aid for the construction. DPW was also instructed to prepare plans and specifications for a parking ramp, access road and vehicle parking area.
- A project to install medium intensity runway lighting system was completed on June 14, 1956. Cost: $44,500.
- The HAC awarded a contract for the construction of the new terminal, vehicle parking area and aircraft parking ramp for $190,687 to John A. Scully Co. on October 10, 1956.
- The HAC granted the CAA’s request for leasing of a parcel of land at the going rate of .015 cents per square foot per year on Molokai Airport property for construction of living quarters for their VOR maintenance technician on January 31, 1957.
- The HAC authorized and appropriated the sum of $4,000 for furniture and equipment for the new Molokai Terminal building on May 18, 1957.
The new Molokai Airport Terminal was officially dedicated on June 15, 1957 with pioneer aviator Emory Bronte in attendance. Thirty years earlier, Bronte and co-pilot Ernest Smith made the first successful trans-Pacific flight by civilians, landing on Molokai after they ran out of fuel. Cost of the terminal was $221,550. Also completed was an aircraft apron and auto park project. Cost: $90,000.
- The HAC authorized the installation of a sprinkler system at Molokai Airport on June 22, 1957.
- The Commission granted the Civil Air Patrol permission to use the building formerly occupied by the Hawaiian Airlines at Molokai Airport on a rent-free basis until further notice.
- Pavement rehabilitation was completed on November 21, 1957. Cost: $30,036.
- Governor’s Executive Order No. 1837 dated April 28, 1958 set aside 65.455 acres for an addition to Molokai Airport for Tracts B, C, E-1 and E-2 and Avigation Easement affecting Tract B-1.
- Governor’s Executive Order No. 1978 dated November 3, 1961 withdrew 5.315 acres of airport land for construction of Molokai Airport Road. GEO No. 1979 withdrew 1.435 acres of airport land for construction of Molokai Airport Road.
- Act 52, SLH 1964, appropriated $65,000 for plans for the reconstruction and enlargement of the airport.
- Act 195, SLH 1965, appropriated $310,000 for grading, installation of drains and reconstruction and strengthening of Runway 5-23.
- Act 217, SLH 1967, appropriated $46,000 for construction of miscellaneous improvements to the existing terminal building, including covered walkways.
- A contract was awarded for improvements to the terminal building on March 17, 1969. Cost: $58,800.
- Act 155, SLH 1969, appropriated $150,000 for expansion of terminal facilities.
- The resurfacing of Runway 5-23 was completed on July 1, 1969. Cost: $145,490.
- Work on the terminal expansion at Molokai Airport was completed in August 1969. This project resulted in additional space for the new snack bar concession and provided covered loading on the curbside of the terminal building. Additional terminal improvements planned for this airport include enlarged lobby space and baggage claims areas. Cost: $61,740.
- Act 187, SLH 1970, appropriated $210,000 for clearing and grading the airfield for improvements to the drainage; resurfacing of the access road and parking lot; and expansion of the apron.
- Molokai Airport faced topographical limitations which posed a problem in long-range planning. The State decided it would be necessary to relocate or realign existing runways to accommodate the all-jet operations planned by interisland carriers.
The FAA began to implement the Airport and Airways Development Act of 1970 under a plan entitled the Airport Certification Program. Under this program, every airport serving air carriers certified by the Civil Aeronautics Board must maintain certificates from the FAA to remain in operation. This program imposes an entirely new system of inspections, record-keeping and reporting on airports and will require additional funds and personnel to meet its stringent requirements.
The FAA also published a “Notice of Proposed rule-Making on Aviation Security” and began to implement an airport security system. This new program will also mean new obligations for the Airports Division and will require equipment expenditures and personnel increases.
Under the requirements of the Airport Certification Program, an Airports Division Procedures Manual was produced in draft form and manuals were also drafted for each airport serving CAB-certified carriers.
After a lapse of several years, the FAA revived a system of inspections under its Compliance Program, and inspected all airports within the State. Hawaii’s airports passed inspection in every important respect, and corrective measures were initiated to correct some minor instances of non-compliance, such as lack of adequate clear zones.
- Act 202, SLH 1972 appropriated $30,000 for design and construction of a control tower, counter booths for air taxi operators and other terminal improvements; and funding for new lobby furniture.
- A quick-response rescue vehicle was ordered for Molokai Airport on June 23, 1972. The vehicle could transport the fire chief, break-in tools and fire suppressant chemicals to a crash within three to four minutes, while slower equipment was still on the way. The vehicle could carry 500 gallons of water, 55 gallons of foam concentrate and 500 pounds of dry chemical.
- Drainage and other improvements were completed on March 9, 1972. Cost: $210,070.
- Additional terminal improvements were completed on July 3, 1972. Cost: $57,808.
- Act 218, SLH 1973, appropriated $250,000 for preliminary planning and land acquisition for a new Molokai Airport.
- Act 218, SLH 1974, appropriated $500,000 for preliminary planning and land acquisition for a new Molokai Airport.
- Perimeter and security fencing was installed and improvements to the crash/fire rescue facility were completed on December 19, 1974. Cost: $108,120.
- Act 195, SLH 1975, appropriated $1 million for preliminary plans and land acquisition for a new airport.
Preliminary planning for moving the site of Molokai Airport continued in 1976 with the preparation for selection of consultants for the project. The engineering analysis to be used in the site selection for a new airport for Molokai continued. Construction of new hotel facilities on Molokai accounted for the increase in passengers served at Molokai Airport. While a modest increase was expected to continue, the shortage of water deterred any great gain in population and airport passenger activity until new sources were developed.
The site study for a new Molokai Airport was completed in 1978 with a recommendation that 500 to 600 acres of land be set aside in the northwest corner of the island. The report recommended against immediate construction at the new site in view of the high cost for a new airport compared to the relatively low air traffic to Molokai. The estimated cost was $25.8 million in 1978. The report recommended continued improvements to the existing airport at Hoolehua until such time that traffic warranted the construction of the new airport.
The FAA dedicated a new air traffic control tower at Molokai Airport on July 13, 1978. The tower cab was a mobile unit mounted on the roof of the airport crash-fire building and was operated from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Increases in general aviation traffic made it feasible to provide air traffic control and the FAA began planning the construction of a permanent facility after the revised master plan for the airport was completed.
- A contract was awarded for resurfacing Runway 5-21 on September 11, 1978. Cost: $525,070.
- Governor’s Executive Order No. 2974 dated May 23, 1979 withdrew 2.101 acres of land at Molokai Airport that were no longer needed for aviation purposes.
- Act 214, SLH 1979, appropriated $3.2 million to acquire Hawaiian Homes Land parcels; widen, strengthen and groove the runway, and strengthen the taxiway and apron; $1.6 million to construct new air taxi facilities; modify the existing terminal building, parking and roadway facilities; and $100,000 to develop airport service lease lots.
- Act 300, SLH 1980, appropriated $3.95 million for airfield improvements; $1.6 million to construct new air taxi facilities, modify the existing terminal, parking and roadway facilities and provide air cargo handling lease areas and terminal building; and $100,000 to develop airport service lease lots.
- A public information meeting was held in November 1980 to present finding of the Molokai Airport Master Plan Study concerning the airport’s status, runway and terminal possibilities. The decision to remain at the present location was announced.
- Governor’s Executive Order No. 3186 dated March 25, 1983 cancelled GEO No. 809 at Molokai Airport.
- Governor’s Executive Order No. 3192 dated May 25, 1983 withdrew 51.928 acres from GEO 1837 to lease to Hawaiian Home Lands.
- Act 301, SLH 1983, appropriated $815,000 to construct air taxi facilities.
- Governor’s Executive Order No. 3217 dated December 29, 1983 set aside 0.202 acres of land for an avigation easement at Molokai Airport.
- Act 285, SLH 1984, appropriated $815 to construct air taxi facilities, roadways, parking and utilities, and construct a maintenance baseyard.
- Act 300, SLH 1985, appropriated $385,000 for airport improvements.
- Act 345, SLH 1986, appropriated $385,000 for design and construction improvements to facilities.
- Act 216, SLH 1987, appropriated $2.2 million for airport improvements.
- Act 217, SLH 1987, appropriated $4,000 for construction of a Visitor’s Information Program booth.
- Act 390, SLH 1988, appropriated $2.2 million for airport improvements.
- Governor’s Executive Order No. 3392 dated September 17, 1988 set aside 35.008 acres of land for an addition to Molokai Airport in a land exchange with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
- Act 316, SLH 1989, appropriated $2 million for design and construction of airport improvements.
- Act 299, SLH 1990, appropriated $5 million for design and construction of buildings and other improvements.
- A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 30, 1990 for the new maintenance facility at Molokai Airport.
- Act 296, SLH 1991, appropriated $4.2 million for airport improvements.
- A project to upgrade the water system to the ARFF and hydrants was completed in December 1991. Cost: $458,000.
- A new baseyard facility was dedicated on June 5, 1992. The 2,800 square foot building included two service bays, three parking bays, a conference room, office space, lockers and showers and storage areas. Cost: $1.7 million.
- Act 300, SLH 1992, appropriated $4.2 million for design and construction of airport improvements.
The renovated passenger terminal and support facilities were dedicated on October 19, 1994. The 24,000 square foot terminal had an upgraded passenger waiting area, ticket lobby, air cargo handling facilities and tenant lease area. Cost: $2.8 million.
Hawaiian Airlines and Mahalo Air signed a code-share agreement in May 1996 to become effective on service between Honolulu and Molokai.
- Act 328, SLH 1997, appropriated $1.3 million for design and construction of an access road and parking lot; and $1 million for land acquisition.
- Act 116, SLH 1998, appropriated $1.3 million for design and construction for an access road and parking lot improvements; and $1 million for land acquisition.
- The access road realignment and parking upgrade was completed in July 2001. Cost: $1.3 million.
The Molokai Airport Master Plan was published in May 1999. Recommendations for improvements were:
Phase I (1998-2005): resolve impacts for Runway 5-23 improvements on Hawaiian Homestead Land; Clear and grub 30 acres for airfield grading; Mass grade approximately 360,000 cubic yards of excavation to northeast of Runway 5-23; Eliminate 590-foot displaced threshold on Runway 23; Extend box drain near end of Runway 23 and realign the existing drainage swale near the end of Runway 23; Install a EAS receiver; Depress intersection of Keonelele and Mokulele Avenues. Estimated cost: $7.1 million.
Phase II (2006-2020): Airfield improvements: Resolve impacts on Hawaiian Homestead Land for Runway 5-23 extension and other improvements needed to satisfy FAA regulations and design criteria; Extend Runway 5-23 by 500 feet to southwest; Mass grading for 500-foot-wide runway safety area extending 1,000 feet of the northeast and southwest ends of an extended Runway 5-23; Construct blast pads at both ends of Runway 5-23; Develop new parallel taxiway at 400 feet, centerline-to-centerline, to the north and extend parallel taxiway 500 feet to southwest and new entry/exit taxiway; Grass new airfield area; Overlay existing Runway 5-23 pavement; Extend medium intensity runway lights (MIRL) on Runway 5-23 by 500 feet; Install distance to go markers on Runway 5-23; Relocation prevision approach path indicator (PAPI) and runway end identifier lights (REIL) on Runway 5; Install MALSR on Runway 5; Install medium intensity taxiway lights (MITL) on new parallel and entry/exit taxiways serving Runway 5-23; Install PAPI on Runway 23; Install runway end identifier lights on Runway 23; Widen Runway 5-23 to 150 feet; Overlay Runway 17-35 pavement; Construct 50-foot wide parallel taxiway for Runway 17-35 at 250 feet, centerline to centerline to the east and entry/exit taxiways.
Terminal Area Improvements: Demolish and remove existing passenger terminal building (16,800 sq ft); Construct new passenger terminal building (36,000 sf) to the southwest; Improve access roads; Modify existing parking lot; Construct new aircraft parking apron (200,000 sf); Construct new cargo building (6,000 sf) and vehicular parking area; Develop new general aviation hangars northwest of the passenger terminal area; Construct new general aviation aircraft parking apron; Develop new helicopter apron; Develop new passenger terminal roadways; Develop new parking lot.
Airport Support and Infrastructure Improvements: Install new perimeter road; Install new perimeter fencing; Upgrade drainage, water, sewer, electrical, telephone, communication and lighting systems; Upgrade fire protection system (non-potable water); Extend the drainage, water, sewer, electrical lighting and other utilities; Extend fire protection system (non-potable water).
Off Site Improvements: Upgrade portions of Hauakea Avenue and Pine Avenue; Add left turn lane at access roads and Keonelele Avenue; Construct Maunaloa Highway tunnel.
The preliminary cost of Phase II improvements is $59.5 million.
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.
Paragon Charters began offering flights to Molokai and the Big Island on October 1, 2001 after Hawaiian Air and Aloha cut their schedules due to September 11. It flew one seven-seat Partenavia aircraft.
Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act on November 19, 2001 which established the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). TSA oversees all transportation security including airport security checkpoint screening, previously managed by the airlines. The airport worked with TSA and other agencies to minimize inconvenience to the travelling public.
- Act 213, SLH 2003, appropriated emergency funds for airport security.
- Repairs to the terminal roof building were completed in May 2003. Cost: $180,000.
- Act 41, SLH 2004, appropriated $300,000 for design of ARFF Station improvements.
- Architectural barrier removal was completed in June 2005. Cost: $160,000.
- Act 160, SLH 2006, appropriated $2.1 million for construction of ARFF station improvements; and $2.9 million for design and construction of culvert improvements.
- Act 213, SLH 2006, appropriated $6.9 million for construction of ARFF Station improvements.
- Act 158, SLH 2008, appropriated $6.9 million for construction of an ARFF Station.
- Part 139 improvements were completed in November 2009. Cost: $697,011.
- A contract was awarded on February 17, 2010 to improvements to the ARFF station. Estimated completion: February 17, 2011. Cost: $4.995 million.