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Hilo International Airport has two terminals.  Signs are uniform and make use of standardized international symbols.




Hilo International Airport was originally named General Lyman Field in honor of the first person of Hawaiian ancestry to be appointed a brigadier general in the United States Army. A joint resolution of the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii was passed on April 19, 1943 to honor Albert Kualii Brickwood Lyman.


When the current airport was built in 1976 it was known as General Lyman Field.. In 1989, the State Legislature changed the name of the airport to Hilo International Airport in keeping with the practice of naming airports for their location rather than a person and the terminal was named for Lyman.  On September 29, 1993, the passenger terminal at Hilo International was rededicated to Brigadier General Lyman.


LymanBorn in Paauhau, Hawaii, on May 5, 1885, General Lyman was the thirteenth son of Rufus Anderson Lyman, who was the fifth child of the Rev. and Mrs. David Belden Lyman, Hilo missionaries.  The family home in Hilo was dedicated as a museum under the name of Lyman House in 1932.


General Lyman attended Kamehameha School for Boys and graduated from Punahou School in 1906.  General Lyman was one of three brothers to attend West Point.  The brothers were appointed to West Point by the late Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, who for 25 years was Hawaii’s delegate in Congress.  Lyman’s appointment came in 1906


Lyman’s eldest brother, Clarence, also a West Point alum was in the Fourth Cavalry and was killed in a polo accident in Hawaii in 1915.  His younger brother, Gen. Charles B. Lyman, was the namesake of Charles R. Bishop, the husband of Princess Bernice Pauahi.  He retired from the Army in 1946 and died in 1981 at the age of 92 in Pennsylvania.


General Albert Lyman was an honor graduate of West Point in 1909.  He was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the engineer corps.  He was promoted to first Lieutenant in 1912.  He was given a captain’s commission on July 1, 1916 while in service with the Army in Honolulu. 


His major’s commission came to him on April 5, 1922 when he was assigned for duty as secretary of the Mississippi River Commission with headquarters at St. Louis, MO.


In 1922, Major Lyman was assigned to duty in Havana, Cuba, where he served as military attaché.  From Cuba, Major Lyman returned to Washington, D.C. where he was in charge of the military intelligence information bureau. In June 1923 he was detailed for duty as district engineer of the Cincinnati district.


Lyman was made a full colonel on May 1, 1929 and subsequently established a notable reputation on various army assignments.


Colonel Lyman arrived in Hawaii prior to the start of World War II and commanded an engineer regiment at Schofield Barracks and served as department engineer. On March 13, 1942, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Lyman was named district engineer in the Hawaii department.  His post as Hawaiian department engineer was an important one in connection with the building of island defenses.


Lyman2On August 11, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Lyman to the rank of Brigadier General.  Two days later, on August 13, 1942, Brig. Gen. Lyman died from a heart attack.  The nomination was before the Senate for confirmation at the time General Lyman was stricken.  The War Department decided to issue the officer’s commission to brigadier generalship dated prior to his death.


Funeral services were held for him at Kawaiahao Church, with interment in the Lyman family plot in the Hilo cemetery.


The Hawaiian Civic Club honored Lyman as “a keiki hanau o ka aina”.


“Whereas for 32 years following his graduation from the United States military academy, rendered distinguished and outstanding service in his chosen branch, the department of United States engineers, in the construction and establishment of military projects in various parts of the country, and then finally his appointment as district engineer of the Hawaiian defense area, a task to which he gave untiring and unstinting effort in the building up of a strong and impregnable defense of his beloved native land, and


“Whereas promotion to the rank of brigadier general had been made by the president of the Untied States, commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States of American on the 11th day of August, 1942, only two days before his death, an outstanding honor, he being the first person of Hawaiian ancestor to be appointed to such rank, a distinction which he so richly deserved and an honor of which Hawaii and the Hawaiian race might well be proud. . . “


On November 27, 1942, the Distinguished Service Medal was presented to Mrs. Lyman in honor of her late husband.  The ceremony was held at Punahou School which was headquarters for the Army engineering department.   


On April 19, 1943, the Territorial Legislature passed Joint Resolution 5, giving to the Hilo Airport the official name of General Lyman Field.  In 1989, the airport’s name was changed to Hilo International Airport and the main passenger terminal was named for General Lyman.  The terminal was rededicated to Lyman on September 29, 1993.       


A tribute to General Lyman’s life and career is on display in the passenger lobby at the airport.




The Commuter Terminal is located on the left side of main airport access road about a half mile before the Main Terminal.


The terminal was dedicated in 1976 and is currently used by scenic tour aircraft.

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