State to get funding for security at airport


POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The state will receive a $11.8 million installment in federal funds to enclose and air-condition the third level of Honolulu Airport, providing for a secure corridor at the international arrival area.

The project will cost $36 million, with 75 percent coming from the federal government. The state's share will be paid by airport fees.

The corridor will be about 2,100 feet long, portions of which will have glass walls with plantings and flowers on the outside. There will also be a series of moving walkways at the Ewa extension of the overseas terminal, replacing the current Wiki Wiki buses.

Arriving international passengers now get off planes at gates 26 through 34 and are taken by the buses to the customs area.

Tammy Mori, state transportation spokeswoman, said that during the construction period, international arrivals will walk from the Ewa concourse gates through a temporary corridor to the new secure corridor that will open in October.

The new corridor leads to stairs and escalators that will take foreign arrivals down into the federal inspection station.

The secure corridor to Ewa concourse gates 26 through 34 will be completed by December 2010.

The Department of Transportation project is necessary to improve the safety and security of arriving international passengers before they get to the immigration and customs area, U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka said.

The project is part of a 12-year, $2.3 billion airports modernization plan to upgrade Hawaii's airports.