HONOLULU, Hawaii – Kai Kahele, a pilot with the Hawaii Air National Guard and son of Senator Gil Kahele, has been keeping us informed on the latest legislation involving the future International Flight Training Center and associated aeronautical training programs at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College.
Kahele says key senate bill (SB3092 SD2) survived crossover and has been referred to Higher Education and Finance. The measure appropriates funds for a program coordinator and technical support staff member to complete the necessary planning required to make the training center a reality. Chair Issac Choy of the House Higher Education Committee is expected to schedule it for a hearing this week, Kahele figures.
The companion house bill, HB1967, was deferred by the House Finance Committee and did not make it through first crossover. The Finance Chair, Rep. Sylvia Luke, heard the bill but indicated she wanted SB3092 to take the lead, according to Kahele.
Kahele also provided insight on the Unmanned Aircrafts bill, SB2608, as it relates to the future Hilo flight training center. The bill was amended on the floor to Senate Draft 3, which would loosen some of the restrictive language in the bill, allowing the University to conduct research with UAS such as the wiliwili study on Hawaii Island. Kahele says the planned implementation of a cutting edge UAS program is part of the aviation program at UH-Hilo.
SB2608 also passed the Senate and has been sent to the House.
Status of bills represent up-to-date information via State Legislative website
SB3092 SD2 – RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION
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HB1967 HD1 – RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION
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SB2608 SD3 – RELATING TO UNMANNED AIRCRAFTS
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