For visitors to Hawaii, the key to a memorable trip is to escape the tourist zones and explore the diversity of the islands—the mountain forests, secluded bays and inlets, coffee plantations, quiet villages. The Big Island offers all of those diversions—plus world-class resorts, luxury homes, live volcanoes, and spectacular ocean-side golf courses—and now travelers who fly in via private jet will soon find upgraded, brand-new facilities at Kona’s Ellison Onizuka International Airport, at Keahole, the island’s main airport.
The Kona Jet Center will be the first new world-class facility for private jets to be built anywhere in the Hawaiian islands in decades, according to AV8 Partners, the developers. They plan to break ground on the project by the end of this year. “Our unprecedented facilities, attention to detail and professional staff dedicated to customer services will be the new standard of aloha spirit in the islands,” says Matthew Clayton, one of the principals in AV8.
The Jet Center will comprise two large hangars and a 7,000-square-foot executive terminal. The hangars will conform to the latest building codes to ensure they can withstand winds and storms, and will be spacious enough to accommodate the largest private jets, including the Gulfstream 650 and Global 8000. The ramp pavement will support all corporate aircraft, as well as commercial-size jets like the B737-800 and Airbus A319.
The new executive terminal will welcome travelers with a design that reflects the unique character of the island, featuring a 40-foot high atrium to capture the natural light. The design aims to convey the “spirit of aloha,” the company says, while offering state-of-the art modern amenities that travelers expect—from high-speed Wi-Fi, to extra-large plush restrooms and dedicated conference areas. Concierge service will provide in-depth local knowledge to satisfy any travel needs. The facility is expected to open for business late next year.