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HDOT NEWS RELEASE: HDOT opens new Hilo International Airport Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Station

Posted on Jul 29, 2016 in Latest Department News

HILO – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), Airports Division, celebrated the opening of the new Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) station at the Hilo International Airport today. The new two-story, 21,000 square-foot facility includes an emergency operations center, four drive-through truck bays, a fueling area, along with improved work and living quarters for firefighters. The facility will also accommodate larger sized ARFF vehicles and provide training facilities to help firefighters perform at their highest capabilities.

“Keeping airport users safe is an enormous responsibility that we take to heart. This new and improved fire station will help our dedicated state firefighters and emergency medical responders with their day to day responsibilities, which includes responding to emergencies,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director.

Nearly 87-percent of the $18.8 million total was provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Airports Division provided the remaining $3 million. The new station is fully compliant with FAA requirements.

“We extend our gratitude to the FAA leadership for their support and dedication in bringing these improvements to Hilo,” said Ross Higashi, HDOT Deputy Director of the Airports Division. “We also thank the skilled firefighters and emergency medical responders who rush to an emergency when called upon.”

The exact move in date will be coordinated with HDOT and the contractor to ensure there is no lapse in coverage during the transition to the new facility.


Hilo International Airport’s new Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) station

The new facility will accommodate larger sized ARFF vehicles and provide new training facilities and upgraded work spaces ensuring airport firefighters are well equipped to respond to emergencies.

Kahu Kealoha blesses the airport firefighters during the dedication ceremony.

State executives and head airport fire officers celebrate the completion of the new ARFF station at Hilo International Airport by untying the maile lei. From left to right: Steven Santiago, Assistant Airport District Manager; Chief Nawai Chartrand, Airport Fire Commander; Mayor Billy Kenoi; Ross Higashi, Airports Division Deputy Director; Representative Clift Tsuji; Representative Mark Nakashima; Senator Kaialii Kahele; Wil Okabe, Governer Ige’s East Hawaii Representative; Representative Richard Onishi; Chief Martinez Jacobs, Airports Fire Chief.