Kona International Airport Terminal Expansion, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Travel Weekly’s Readers Choice Awards has named Hawaii as the Top U.S. Travel Destination for twelve years in a row. Tourism to the “Aloha State” attracts more than eight million visitors a year, and continues to be a driving force behind the Hawaiian economy. That’s why state officials are doing everything they can to enhance the traveler experience – including the launch of a $2.7 billion Hawaii Airports Modernization Program intended to transform the state’s five major airports into world-class facilities that meet the future needs of residents and visitors alike. Located on Hawaii Island, the largest of the eight-island chain, Kona International Airport is currently undergoing a $70 million upgrade and expansion as a part of this initiative.
This particular airport sees upwards of three million travelers a year, and these efforts are aimed at addressing the aging facilities and emergency systems that serve them. We were engaged to provide cost and risk management services for the design and documentation phases of the 78,000 SF project. The expansion calls for a new addition that will connect the airport’s two existing—and separate—outdoor terminals, creating a single facility with enclosed indoor space.
The modernized airport will feature a centralized check-in area, expanded concessions, a below-ground baggage handling system, and upgraded communications and audiovisual displays for flight and baggage information. Additionally, one of the prime considerations of the larger Modernization Program is environmental impact, and Kona is primed to be the first airport in the world to be cooled by deep ocean water – proving it can be done prior to expanding the system to the other airports across the state. Upon completion, the upgrades will bring the local airport up to international standards, and ensure every traveler’s trip to Hawaii begins and ends with the Aloha Spirit.