Air Service Hawaii expects to kick off 2020 with a bang. The Honolulu-based FBO operator, which provides service at six locations throughout the islands, will debut not one but two new multimillion-dollar facilities in January. “It was never our plan to have two projects going at the same time, with all the associated challenges and cash outflow,” said company president Shaen Tarter, “but thanks to permitting issues and other things, that’s just the way it worked out.”
At Lihue Airport, the primary gateway on Kauai, Air Service Hawaii (Booth C11233) is replacing its modest office in the old commuter air terminal with a new 1,800-sq-ft private aviation terminal, which will house its services. It will also add a 12,000-gallon avgas tank, refueler parking area, line service office, and customer vehicle parking. While there is currently no hangar space at the facility, the company has room for and has considered adding a 32,000-sq-ft hangar.
On the Big Island, at Kona’s Ellison Onizuka International Airport, a new FBO complex—the first dedicated GA facility at the airport—is nearing completion. The two-acre leasehold will include a 5,000-sq-ft main private aviation terminal, which will feature, for the first time in the state of Hawaii, a full commercial kitchen to support catering preparation. It will be operated by Pacific Inflight, the same locally owned provisioner used by the company’s flagship FBO in Honolulu. It will also include concierge, shower facilities, and car rental.
A separate, 2,200-sq-ft secure terminal will be used for larger, commercial-size aircraft that require passenger screening before boarding, such as Kaiser Air’s “Kona Shuttle,” a twice-weekly luxury charter flight from Oakland, California, using a Boeing 737. In addition to the security equipment, it will offer a lobby with plant-covered "living" walls, seating for up to 60 passengers, and air-conditioned restrooms.
Rounding out the facility will be a 38,000-sq-ft hangar, capable of sheltering the latest big business jets, which is expected to come online in May.
“We’re just thrilled to be the ones that will offer the first hangar at Kona, the first facility of its kind, and designed exactly the way we know our customers want it to be done,” Tarter told AIN. “It’s a really fun thing to have the opportunity to start with a clean slate and say this is exactly how we want this to be laid out to deliver the best service we can to our clients, from vehicle traffic flow, to how our staff is staged in the buildings, where everything is to make things flow as smoothly and safely as possible.”
In addition to Kona, Lihue, and Honolulu, Air Service Hawaii also operates FBOs at Kahului Aiport on Maui, Hilo International on the Big Island, and Lanai Airport. At the latter, it is the only handler to provide fuel and rampside vehicle access.