McDermott said, “Gov. Ige seems like a reasonable man; surely he will see a 439% percent increase in rents – overnight – is unreasonable and foolish. General aviation is a clean and technologically advanced industry and everyone from airplane mechanics and hangar janitors depends on these pilots to keep flying. This Abercrombie policy will kill the industry to the parts suppliers overnight and make it truly accessible for only the super-rich. I ask Gov. Ige to restore common sense and reverse this Abercrombie money grab.”
Hangar space at Kalaeloa is limited and any prospective hangar builder is faced with insurmountable hurdles and obstacles. In the time that DOT-A has managed Kalaeloa, only four private hangars have been built with many prospective tenants having given up at the thought of building and others moving away from the state – entirely because of DOT-A’s unreasonableness.
DOT-A has provided no incentive for general aviation aircraft to move to Kalaeloa.
There is a complete lack of transparent objective guidance for construction of private general aviation hangars at Kalaeloa. Current and prospective tenants have had to deal with an unreasonable and often times hostile staff at DOT-A. Current and prospective tenants have attempted to negotiate in good faith and as good neighbors in developing reasonable guidance and standards for private hangar construction. The end result would have been a safer Honolulu International due to less small aircraft traffic and a growing general aviation community that contributes to the local economy. These efforts have been met with resistance and one road block after another. It’s readily apparent that DOT-A views general aviation as burdensome and as an unwanted activity in the State of Hawaii.
To further compound the Kalaeloa hangar issues, as a result of DOT-A having had a statewide airport property assessment done, current and prospective tenants at Kalaeloa are faced with outrageous lease rates increases. For current tenants, this lease increase could be as high as 439%. A property tax rate increase several years ago resulted in a nearly 10% increase of rental rates. Again, it must be stressed that this at an airport where the current lease rate has only attracted four private hangars. This outrageous lease increase may very well put an end to general aviation at Kalaeloa.
Since 1999, federal funding at Kalaeloa has been in excess of $35,000,000. The FAA recently ruled in favor of a local aviation company due to the non-responsiveness of DOT-A. Federal funding for all Hawaii airports may be at risk because of this complaint and will continue to be at risk should DOT-A continue their uncooperative attitude towards private general aviation.