Air travel nearThe roar of jets could be heard over Hawaii's airports this morning as air travel returned to near-normal levels.
normal, but security
is very tight
If you need to catch a flight,
give yourself 3 hours of lead time
By Nelson Daranciang and Anthony Sommer
Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines resumed their full schedule of inter-island and mainland flights and most domestic carriers resumed also resumed their schedule of flights into and out of Honolulu International Airport today.
"Air traffic at the airport is between 80 and 100 percent," said Marilyn Kali, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
Most flights have not resumed except for two Japanese and two Canadian Airlines flights, foreign carriers Air Canada, Canada 3000, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines were given permission to resume their flights after meeting new security standards. However, other foreign carriers were not flying into the U.S. this morning.
Japan Airlines scheduled 11 empty planes into Honolulu today to pick up passengers who had been stranded in Hawaii since Tuesday. ANA scheduled three empty airplanes.
The new security measures include uniformed soldiers armed with rifles patrolling passenger terminals, curbsides and streets. Deputy sheriffs search vehicles entering parking lots, asking drivers to present photographic identification.
Security guards approach cars at curbside that do not appear to be dropping off or picking up passengers and order drivers to move on.
"This is a condition that we expect will continue indefinitely. I think that these may be the new standard of security for all of our airports," Kali said.
People appeared to be following the new security measures and chose to be dropped off rather than park at the airport. There were no lines of cars waiting to get into the parking structures this morning.
General aviation was still grounded today.
However, all of the major airports statewide were open. Still closed were smaller airports at Kalaeloa (Barbers Point) and Mokuleia on Oahu, Waimea on the Big Island, Kalaupapa on Molokai, Hana and Kapalua on Maui, and Port Allen and Princeville on Kauai.
Lihue was the last of Hawaii's larger airports to be certified ready to begin commercial flights by the FAA yesterday. The Kauai airport faced a major problem because the new security rules forbid the parking of cars within 300 feet of the terminal. The airport's parking lot is about 60 feet from the terminal.
The lot was jammed with cars that had to be moved before the airport could be opened, but the owners of the cars were on other islands and could not fly back to Kauai to move the cars because the airport was closed because their cars were parked too close to the terminal.
Between local radio stations making announcements, Kauai police tracing the license numbers on the parked cars and making hundreds of telephone calls, and Kauai's light-speed coconut wireless, friends, relatives and co-workers removed all 237 cars by nightfall. A few cars were towed, including seven derelict cars that were discovered after the airport lot was emptied.
At the seven major airports statewide, travelers can expect more identification checks, more screening by handheld detectors and more searches of their carry-on baggage. Knives and sharp objects, including plastic ones, will be seized. They are also banned at airport food establishments and from airplane meals.
To prevent traffic from backing up onto the freeway because of vehicle searches, vehicles entering Honolulu Airport to park at either the overseas or interisland terminals are required to enter the parking structures at street level from Nimitz Highway.
Vehicles entering the airport to drop off or pick up passengers must do so on the second level. Drivers must remain in their vehicles and will not be allowed to wait at curbside for passengers. Only active loading and unloading will be allowed. The drive-through check-in and other curb-side check-in counters are closed.
Officials recommend that travelers plan on arriving at the airport at least three hours before their scheduled departure time for mainland flights and 90 minutes for interisland flights.
Soldiers patrolling the terminals are members of Hawaii's National Guard. Most are full-time uniformed soldiers, said Capt. Charles Anthony, Hawaii National Guard spokesman.
The state Department of Public Safety is also providing more deputy sheriffs at the airport, said Sydney Hayakawa, deputy director for law enforcement.
Akal Security, the private security contractor for Honolulu Airport, also has more uniformed officers in the terminals and on curbsides, said Regional Manager Bob Chee.
Freeman Guards, which inspects baggage checked in by passengers, has already increased its staff by about 25 percent as airlines and other airport venders ask for added security, said Senior Vice President Pat Canonigo.
Help with relief efforts>> American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund: Those wishing to contribute can call 800-HELP-NOW (800-435-7669). Contributions can also be sent to the American Red Cross Hawaii at 4155 Diamond Head Rd., Honolulu, HI 96815; or on the Web at www.redcross.org. Checks should be made to the Disaster Relief Fund. A collection site is set up at the Customer Service Center, across from CenterStage at Ala Moana Center.
>> September 11th Fund: The Hawaii Community Foundation and others have created a fund for victims and families. Contributions can be made at any Foodland or Sack 'n Save store and any branch of American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Bank of the Orient, Central Pacific Bank, City Bank, Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, HomeStreet Bank and Territorial Savings. Send cash or check to The September 11th Fund c/o Hawaii Community Foundation, Pioneer Plaza, 900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 1300, Honolulu, HI 96813. Online donations may be made at www.hcf-hawaii.org. Call 537-6333.
>> The Hawaii Island Food Bank is asking people who want to help victims of the East Coast attacks to donate cash rather than food. Visit www.secondharvest.org to donate. Checks, made out to America's Second Harvest, can also be mailed to Hawaii Island Food Bank, 140-B Holomua St., Hilo, HI 96720.
>> Blood will continue to be needed for several weeks, and donors are encouraged to make an appointment by calling 845-9966 on Oahu or 1-800-372-9966 on the neighbor islands. Oahu's blood collection is being centralized at 2043 Dillingham Blvd. There is also a downtown center at 126 Queen St. Both sites are holding extended hours this week.
People on the neighbor islands can donate at blood drives as follows:
>> Wednesday: Hilo State Building, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
>> Thursday: Hilo State Building, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
>> Next Friday: Hilo Medical Center, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
>> Nov. 5: Hilton Waikoloa Village, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
>> Nov. 6: Kahilu Town Hall, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
>> Nov. 7: Royal Kona Resort, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Kauai>> Oct. 17: Wilcox Memorial Hospital, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
>> Oct. 18: Kauai War Memorial, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
>> Oct. 19: Kauai Community College, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
MauiAll drives will be held at the Cameron Center.
>> Oct. 24: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
>> Oct. 25: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
>> Oct. 26: 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.