OGG – Your First Impression
Maui is known for its pristine beaches, delightful cuisine, scenic views, activities, and a perfect vacation spot. From swimming and sightseeing to zip lining and attending a luau, there is something for everyone. Maui has won multiple awards from travel magazines and with good reason. When you land at the Maui airport, whether you are ready for adventure or want to sit back and relax, you are sure to become immersed with the beauty, culture, and friendliness of this awe-inspiring place.
As exciting as it is to envision being in Maui, of course, you must first plan your trip. When booking your flight to Maui, you’ll have the option of three different Maui airports. However, the Kahului Airport is by far the most popular Maui airport, also the second largest in the state of Hawaii, after Honolulu. Perhaps even more important, the Kahului Airport wants to play an integral role in welcoming you to Maui.
Kahului Airport Welcomes You
Situated on more than 1300 acres, the Kahului Airport is conveniently located a few miles outside of the town of Kahului and caters to both interisland commuter flights and overseas flights. Recently, due to ever-growing popularity, the Kahului Airport has been receiving quite a few upgrades, all in an effort to improve the experience of travelers. One of the first stages of expansion began with the Kuihelani Highway in 2016 when extra lanes and a new airport access road were added to alleviate airport traffic congestion for residents and travelers alike. Located right behind the Maui airport is the Kahului heliport, which is home to all of the Maui helicopter tour companies such as Air Maui Helicopters.
During the 2016 year, the Kahului Airport served more than six million people and that number continues to rise. The Master Plan for the Kahului Airport has a projected completion date of 2035 at which time it will meet international airport standards. But, travelers can enjoy many of the renovations now. You’ll undoubtedly enjoy the breathtaking views from above as you’re approaching your destination of the island of Maui. And, from the moment you step foot inside the Kahului Airport until you walk through the doors to explore the top-rated island of Hawaii, you’ll experience Hawaiian hospitality.
Newest Upgrades at Kahului Airport
As of June 2019, the lobby updates were completed. The lobby design is impeccable, boasting a warm, relaxing atmosphere, and adorned with culturally inspired locally designed décor. With an array of shopping, dining, and leisure options available in the main terminal along with a team of knowledgeable, friendly staff, airport guests get a firsthand authentic taste of Aloha, which means kindness and harmony.
Beyond the warm welcoming, you’ll appreciate how easy it to take care of business at the Kahului Airport too. The lobby remodeling of this Maui airport also included the addition of sufficient directional signage, 38 new kiosks in the lobby smartly situated in a “V-formation” to prevent congestion, and curbside kiosks for added convenience. The baggage systems were upgraded with new scales and drop-off areas, and the ticket counters are equipped with state-of-the-art computers for faster service and overall enhanced efficiency and passenger access. It all works together to create a seamless flow from beginning to end.
In addition to the lobby renovation, the airport expansion includes a new cellphone parking lot, as well as an electric tram service that conveniently transports visitors between the airport and new car rental facility. This structure is a new addition that spans across 17-acres, houses 7 different car rental companies and 3,000 cars.
There are other means of transportation provided by the airport as well. The airport shuttle carries passengers to the town of Kahului and there are also available bus and taxi services.
Upcoming Maui Airport Renovations
Recently, in November 2019, it was announced that the Kahului Airport plans to expand its terminal to accommodate more travelers. With more than six million people arriving on Maui via the Kahului Airport, this new construction will include the addition of new bathrooms and more seating capacity in the holding rooms. The 36 million dollar project will also enclose the open-air concourse on the south-end and add an outdoor garden space for the enjoyment of passengers. The garden will be filled with native plants for a relaxing vibe and equipped with speakers and flight monitors to keep visitors abreast of important flight information.
In total, this newest stage of development is comprised of an additional 27,376 square feet, with the goal of giving “travelers a good first and last impression of the airport when they come to Maui,” according to project manager, Malia Molina. Also, the current mid-century design will be continued throughout the various stages of expansion and will maintain its “unique design and experience,” never resembling the LA or Honolulu international airports. Construction will begin in 2020 and be completed within two years.
While construction almost always involves some inconveniences, the main Maui Airport is dedicated to giving passengers a pleasant experience, setting the stage for an extraordinary visit to your Hawaii destination.