KONA, Hawaii— In response to the discovery of fractures on the runway, the Kona International Airport (K)A) chose to close its doors on Monday.
The news was made by authorities from the transportation department shortly after 4:30 p.m. The fissures that had developed and the degradation of the runway surface had intensified, according to the officials, as a result of the recent storms.
As part of their efforts to restore operations on Tuesday, authorities from the transportation department have stated that they are collaborating with contractors to mill and resurface a 10′ x 10′ area.
In an update that was provided on Monday evening, the authorities stated that the anticipated completion of the resurfacing, which would enable the runway to reopen, is expected to take place before the first light on Tuesday, January 16.
As a result of the situation at KOA, at least one of the inter-island flights that was supposed to depart from Honolulu and head to Kona was rerouted to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
Taking into consideration the circumstances, the office of Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth made the following statement:
“In order to address concerns at Kona Airport, the County of Hawaii is working together with our internal partners as well as partners from the state and the federal government to identify solutions.
Our number one concern is making sure that both newcomers and long-term residents are safe around here. Over the course of the following week, we intend to involve our congressional delegation and investigate local resources in order to ensure that travel to our regions remains accessible.
Transportation officials stated in an email that was sent out shortly before 5:30 p.m. that they are “measuring the usable runway length and will provide the information to airline operators in order to determine how to reopen the runway while restricting planes from the damaged areas.”
Additionally, HDOT is collaborating with contractors to mill and resurface the area that has been impacted.
The website of the Department of Transportation (DOT) states that the Kona International Airport in Keahole (KOA) encompasses a total area of 3,450 acres of land. In addition to general aviation activities, the airport handles local, international, inter-island, commuter, and air taxi flights, as well as foreign flights.
“KOA has an 11,000-foot runway and a complex of facilities at the eastern edge of the airfield for arriving and departing passengers, air cargo and mail, airport support and general aviation operations,” according to the Department of Transportation’s website.
“The HDOT has a project that will reconstruct the entire 11,000-foot runway this year,” according to authorities.