HDOT, U.S. ARMY AND FAA CONTINUE DILLINGHAM AIRFIELD TRANSITION TO MILITARY MANAGEMENT
News Release from HDoT, Feb 11, 2020
HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), the U.S. Army (Army), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are engaged in continued dialogue regarding the termination of HDOT’s lease with the Army of the Dillingham Airfield (HDH). HDOT sent HDH tenants a notification letter confirming that their 30-day revocable permits will cease effective June 30, 2020.
“The operations and lease arrangements at Dillingham Airfield have been the subject of ongoing discussions with our federal partners for the past eight years. While we understand the tenants will need to adjust to having to move their operations from HDH, there are other available options within the State’s airport system,” said Director Jade Butay, Hawaii Department of Transportation. “HDOT cannot continue to assume the million-dollar financial loss every year subsidizing the tenants at a facility we do not own or control, combined with the risk of losing federal funds if we continue management under the current conditions.”
“The Army appreciates the HDOT support in operating and managing the Dillingham Airfield for more than four decades and is beginning the process of transitioning the facility back to military management,” said Col. Thomas Barrett, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii. “Our staff is diligently working to assess the way forward and is analyzing the possible impacts related to the lease transfer. This will be a detailed process involving extensive coordination with State and Federal agencies. First and foremost, the Army must fulfill its requirements of military training, readiness, response, security and safety. We will not take any action that will impact our ability to fulfill these critical responsibilities.”
For additional information and to view the previous HDOT news release on the subject please click here.
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Dillingham Airfield Can be Better off Without Airports Division
SA: … Dillingham Airfield tenants — including skydiving, glider and ultralight operators — are hoping a white knight will step forward to prevent the North Shore airport from shutting down civilian operations June 30.
VIDEO: Waialua Town Hall on Dillingham Closure
All Dillingham Airfield businesses are on 30-day revocable permits and are expected to receive official notices in the next few days saying the state is terminating its lease for the Army- owned airfield as of June 30….
“At this time, the Army wants to work with government entities to keep the airfield open,” said Frank Hinshaw, founder and president of Skydive Hawaii.
The state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources “might be a partner,” as DLNR took over small boat harbors from DOT, Hinshaw said in an email. The Pearl Harbor Morale, Welfare and Recreation office has expressed interest, Hinshaw said.
A town hall meeting with several elected leaders is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight at Waialua Elementary School. Airfield tenants are expected to attend….
Partway into one long-term lease, the Army came out and inspected the airfield and was not happy. “There were many problems like buildings that had no permits, etc.,” Sanders said. A five-year lease was then required by the Army, he said.
The Airports Division “did not deserve a long-term contract, in the Army’s opinion, and I must agree,” Sanders said, adding that all tenants have suffered because DOT Airports did not force a few bad apples to follow the rules.
Sanders said both Pacific Skydiving and Skydive Hawaii “are among the most successful and safest skydiving operations in the world. Both have state-of-the-art, multimillion-dollar turbine aircraft and excellent maintenance.”
The DOT said it is also saddled with a water system that it must maintain for the airfield and the surrounding civilian/public community — with the FAA warning that DOT Airports’ role with the water system “is not allowed.”…
Sanders said he knows an individual with a fleet of multimillion-dollar aircraft who bought an airport in Australia for skydiving and powered hang gliders who “would love to purchase the rights to Dillingham Airfield during daylight hours.”
“There should be a solution to keep Dillingham Airfield open and the hundreds of people (employed) that rely on it for their livelihood, whether the state of Hawaii is involved or not,” he said….
read … Businesses at Dillingham Airfield hold out hope for a flying future
Feb 7, 2020: Caught in Lie, Airports Division Admits it is Trying to Dump Dillingham Airfield