The governor of Hawaii, Benjamin Cayetano, has indicated five state-operated airports may close if contract operators cannot be found to administer them under acceptable terms.
Air-tour operator Blue Hawaiian Helicopters has ordered four more Eurocopter EC 130B4s to augment its existing fleet of eight AS 350B2 AStars and nine EcoStars. Blue Hawaiian began operations on Maui in 1985 with one helicopter and today is the state’s largest helicopter tour company. The company was the launch customer for the EcoStar in 2001.
Maui-based Pacific Wings exacted a small measure of revenge on Hawaiian gatecrasher Mesa Air Group last month when it won the rights to two of Mesa’s Essential Air Service destinations in New Mexico. Pacific Wings plans to start serving Hobbs and Carlsbad, N.M., from Albuquerque using four nine-seat Cessna Grand Caravans on June 1.
Last November the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture ruled it would no longer clear incoming aircraft on the Island of Lanai. Arriving aircraft would have to stop at another airport to clear with the department before proceeding to the island. NBAA and several of its members protested the ruling to the state, and the state’s Department of Agriculture has since agreed to continue clearance operations on Lanai.