Airport space allocation decided by DOT leases


POSTED: Friday, September 18, 2009

Question: With five check-in lobbies at Honolulu Airport's main terminal, there are 13 airlines (Philippine, Air New Zealand, China, All-Nippon, Alaska, Air Canada, Northwest, Delta, Korean, Air Pacific, Qantas, Westjet and Jetstar) located in the lobby at the Ewa end. Six other airlines (United, Continental, American, Omni, US Air and Japan) occupy the other four lobbies. Why this imbalance?

Answer: Space allocation at Honolulu Airport is determined by lease agreements with the state Department of Transportation.

Those agreements are based on each air carrier's operational requirements, including the number of personnel, number and frequency of arriving/departing flights, international/domestic destinations and date of establishment at the airport, explained transportation spokeswoman Tammy Mori.

“;The airlines can modify or improve their spaces to meet their changing needs and demands,”; she said. However, because there are many established and larger airlines with long-term leases, an air carrier just coming to Honolulu Airport is limited by the availability of space.

Because of that, newer carriers normally begin with a short-term lease agreement to give them flexibility in the beginning, Mori said.

Which all means that the situation where most of the airlines are in one lobby on one side of the terminal is not expected to change “;in the near future.”;

Meanwhile, Mori said Honolulu Airport's Explosive Detection System Project, funded through a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will free up “;a lot more lobby space.”;

The $24 million project will upgrade and move the baggage conveyor system out of the lobby area, as part of efforts to improve explosive detection capabilities. It also will streamline the checking in and boarding process.

Mori said the project, coordinated with the airline carriers based on their current locations, will create more lobby space and relieve pedestrian congestion.

Question: I live on Fern Street in McCully, and my bulky-item pickup is the third week of the month. I've been storing my refrigerator until then. However, the city crew came on Saturday, Sept. 12, and picked up a refrigerator that was already out on the curb. Will they come back the third week?

Answer: Yes. Put your refrigerator out during your regularly scheduled pickup.

What you saw was an “;extra pickup”; for problem areas like McCully.

The city Department of Environmental Services has classified several areas as “;hot spots”; or “;problem areas”; for bulky-item pickup, said spokesman Markus Owens.

They include high-density neighborhoods such as Moiliili, Makiki, McCully, Salt Lake and Palolo in the town area, and parts of Waipahu and parts of Waianae.

In those areas, crews will do an unscheduled pickup, in between the regularly scheduled monthly pickups, Owens said.

Waikiki, because it's the tourism “;breadbasket,”; gets even more attention: “;We try to make it a point to service Waikiki every Saturday,”; he said.

Meanwhile, the city is still working on legislation to beef up enforcement powers to more forcefully address the problem of illegal dumping or dumping of bulky items weeks ahead of schedule.