(BIVN) – Operations at the Kona International Airport have been shut down, due to cracks on the runway. Monday night flights have been cancelled, however the airport is expected to reopen on Tuesday morning.
UPDATE – (7:38 p.m.) – In a message issued over social media, Hawaiian Airlines said they are canceling remaining flights to/from Kona on Monday evening.
“Guests booked to travel to/from Kona tonight should not come to the airport,” the airline said. “We understand the inconvenience that this has caused our guests & are working closely with the State to determine when the runway will reopen.”
UPDATE – (8:50 p.m.) – The Kona International Airport is expected to reopen on Tuesday. The Hawaiʻi DOT reported that the runway “will remain closed through Monday night as it is not possible to operate around the damaged section of runway.” However, contractors are working to mill and resurface the affected area, allowing the runway to reopen prior to first light on Tuesday, January 16th.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation announced at 4:20 p.m. on Monday that the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole was closed until further notice to “assess cracks on the runway and keep air travelers safe.”
Passengers are being advised to check with their airline before heading to the airport.
From the Hawaiʻi DOT:
HDOT is measuring the usable runway length and will provide the information to airline operators to determine how to reopen the runway while restricting planes from the damaged areas. HDOT is also working with contractors to mill and resurface the affected area.
The HDOT has a project that will reconstruct the entire 11,000-foot runway this year. Cracks had developed and the runway pavement degradation had accelerated due to the recent rains.
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D, Hawaiʻi) issued a statement on the news, saying that he’s “been in contact with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and he is working with the FAA to help to solve this problem as quickly as possible.” Sen. Schatz is the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.