The Hawaii Department of Transportation is set to receive a $22 million federal grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for the construction of a new Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Kahului Airport.
The funding will be used to erect a two-story security screening checkpoint at the southern end of the ticket lobby that will house several TSA screening lanes. This construction aims to enhance security and create a more streamlined travel experience for both residents and visitors at the second busiest airport in the state.
“Kahului Airport is an important resource for our residents and visitors, and the vibrant Hawaii economy,” HIDOT Director Ed Sniffen said in a news release. “This project highlights our continued efforts to bring in more federal dollars to upgrade our airports across the state to address our needs for the future now.”
Sniffen said HIDOT is committed to an airport system that prioritizes a safe, enjoyable curb-to-plane experience while minimizing public costs.
The upgrade is expected to expand TSA screening capacity, with up to six additional lanes. While the new checkpoint is being built, the northern checkpoint and associated lanes will remain operational.
Additionally, as part of the multimillion-dollar project, the existing northern checkpoint will also be upgraded, with plans to enclose it and add air conditioning.
TSA Federal Security Director for Hawai‘i and the Pacific, Nanea Vasta, expressed gratitude for the support received from federal and state partners, affirming that travelers and TSA employees will appreciate the improvements.
“During the construction phases of this project, we remain committed to providing the most effective and efficient security operation while reflecting the aloha spirit of the islands,” Vasta said in the release.
In recent years, HIDOT has worked alongside the TSA to introduce canine units at Kahului Airport to help manage long security lines. Large tents were initially erected to shelter passengers from the elements while they awaited screening. These tents are now utilized as curbside pickup points.
The new south checkpoint waiting lobby, screening lanes, and TSA support spaces will be located on the second floor, while the ground floor will host other airport support spaces and retail opportunities.
A pedestrian bridge will connect the new south checkpoint to a passenger hold room, spanning over an existing service road.
The OGG project also aims to secure LEED Silver Certification for the new building, with plans to incorporate energy-saving features like efficient LED lighting and photovoltaic opportunities to offset energy consumption.
As part of the HIDOT’s ongoing modernization plan, the baggage handling system at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport’s Lobby 2 was recently upgraded to expand the capacity to security-screen bags.
The Kahului Airport project, with an expected budget of $62.3 million in total, is expected to begin construction next summer and wrap by the end of 2025.