Honolulu Star-Bulletin Local News
Barbers Point airport

Commission votes 10-5 for
a civilian facility

By Harold Morse

The Barbers Point Naval Air Station Redevelopment Commission has recommended in favor of a civilian airport at Barbers Point after the Navy vacates the property in mid-1999.

The commission last night voted 10-5 to keep some runways open for airport use and trimming others for beach access, parks, open space and other uses.

The recommendations go to Gov. Ben Cayetano, who favors a civilian airport at the site despite opposition from some area residents.

Also recommended were hundreds of acres of open and park space, sites for homeless shelters, a drug treatment facility, a fire department training area and possible housing and commercial areas proposed by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

The commission turned down proposals for a prison site that was backed by new prisons chief Keith Kaneshiro and for a Hawaiian Electric Co. power plant.

Commissioner Maeda Timson accused other commissioners of ignoring popular sentiment against an airport. She voted against the plan, as did commissioners Roland Libby, Cheryl Soon, Kenneth Sprague and Walter Kupau.

Voting for the airport plan were commissioners Jack Endo, Emogene Martin, Dick Beamer, Randy Moore, Clarence Liu, Roy Oshiro, Rick Egged, Kali Watson, Gilbert Agaran and Maj. Gen. Edward Richardson.

Under the recommended plan, Runway 4R would remain at its present 8,300 feet. Its companion Runway 4L would no longer be a runway for its makai-most 3,600 feet. That portion would become a taxiway only. Its mauka 4,600 feet, beginning at the midpoint of Runway 11, which 4L crosses, would serve as a light aircraft runway for general aviation.

Runway 11, the crosswind runway, now 8,400 feet long, would have 1,400 feet taken from its makai end and 1,000 feet removed from its mauka end. The freed makai footage would provide better beach access and parking space. But if the Coast Guard needs 7,000 feet of crosswind runway, the makai end would be used again as a runway.

Public hearings will be held if plans are approved by Cayetano.

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