Hawaiian Island Airports: A Quick Guide

The Hawaiian Island is located at the heart of the Pacific Ocean, nearly 4,827 miles away from mainland USA. Additionally, it’s made up of a variety of islands with some areas that are quite difficult to reach.

For that reason, aviation has always played a significant role in transportation for those looking to visit Hawaii. Today, the Hawaiian Island is home to around 40 FAA-registered landing facilities, ranging from private landing strips to international airports.

In today’s article, we’ll walk you through all the popular Hawaiian Island airports and heliports that are available for public use. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

A Brief Overview of the Most Popular Hawaiian Island Airports

1. Daniel K. Inouye International Airport

This one is Formerly known as “Honolulu International Airport”, as it’s located in Honolulu, the Hawaiian Capital.

It’s the principal hub for Hawaiian Airlines in addition to several local airlines. It also serves as the main airport of Oahu Island.

The airport stretches over a space of 4,220 acres and has 6 runways in addition to helicopter landing pads. The airport has the most operations out of any other airport in all Hawaiian Islands.

2. Kahului Airport

The Kahului Airport is located in Eastern Kahului and serves as the main airport of Maui Island.

It’s also one of the busiest airports in Hawaii and the US, as it only has 3 runways despite receiving a lot of flights from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

3. Kona International Airport

Officially known as “Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole”. Like the Kahului Airport, this one is known for its heavy traffic, and it’s the busiest airport on the Island of Hawaiʻi.

This one serves the western region of Hawaii Island while Hilo International Airport serves the east.

Helicopter tour companies in the region frequently use this airport for departures, such as Mauna Loa and Paradise.

4. Hilo International Airport

The Hilo International Airport is also located on the island of Hawaiʻi and is considered the second major airport there.

Like other airports on the list, most flight to the airport comes from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Additionally, the airport is also a popular helicopter takeoff site, with several major helicopter agencies using it, including Safari Helicopters, Paradise Helicopters, and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

5. Lihue Airport

The Lihue Airport mainly serves Kauai island and is typically used for local flights and helicopter take-offs.

In fact, the FAA report of the airport shows that 48% of operations in the airport come from helicopters.

6. Molokai Airport (Hoolehua Airport)

This airport is located on the Island of Molokai within Maui County and mainly serves             Kaunakakai.

The airport typically has around 45,000 aircraft operations per year, which is much less than the previously mentioned airports.

It’s also considered a popular helicopter airport with many agencies in the area using it as a helipad.

7. Lanai Airport

The Lanai Airport is the only airport that serves the island of Lanai. In recent years, the airport only has an average of 6,000 to 8,000 aircraft operations, as direct flights from other airports caused a significant decline in its operations.

8. Waimea-Kohala Airport

The Waimea-Kohala Airport stretches over a space of 90 acres, which is considered quite small when compared to other airports on the Hawaiian Island.

The airport had an average of around 4,100 flight operations in the last few years and it mainly serves the Waimea region.

9. Kapalua Airport

The Kapalua Airport, also called Kapalua–West Maui Airport, is a privately owned airport located in Lahaina, Western Maui.

Nearly all Kapalua Airport flights are commuter flights that are either to and from other Hawaiian islands.

10. Hana Airport

Hana Airport is one of the smallest non-primary commercial service airports in Hawaii that is still operational today.

Like the Kapalua Airport, most of the flights from and to Hana Airport are commuter flights from other Hawaiian Airports and Islands.

What Are the Most Popular Helicopter Airports in Hawaii?

In addition to the popular airports in Hawaii, there are also some major helicopter airports. Although most of them are reserved for hospital and military services. Some of these heliports are also privately owned. Here are the most popular ones:

Waikoloa Heliport

A 5-acre small helicopter airport that is used for departures of helicopters of several tour agencies, such as Big Island Helicopter Tours and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters.

Kaupulehu Heliport

This one is a privately owned heliport located in Hawaii and it stretches over a distance of 7 acres.  Some helicopter tours leave from here.

Hapuna Heliport

This one is owned by Sunshine Helicopters and is used for departures of helicopters in some of their tours.

Wrap Up

With that said, you now have a brief guide that walks you through all the popular Hawaiian Island airports and heliports.

As you can see, different helicopter tour companies use different airports and heliports to take off, and sometimes, even the same company will use more than one.

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