Waikoloa Airport

By June 4, 2019May 11th, 2022About Hawaii, History

Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole is a major Waikoloa airport located at Keāhole. This airport serves those traveling to Hawaii to visit Waikoloa beach, other parts of Hawaii or traveling to Kailua-Kona. It is run by the Hawaii Department of Transportation and is a hub for Mokulele Airlines.

Kona Airport has a pleasant charm that is sure to set a pleasant mood for the rest of your amazing Waikoloa experience viewing active volcanoes, beautiful orchids, amazing golf courses, and wonderful coastline.

Brief History

Most of the airport’s runway is built on a lava flow that occurred in 1801: the Hu’ehu’e lava flows from Hualālai. Betchel Corporations’ construction workers used 3 million pounds of dynamite in flattening the lava flow within a period of 13 months. The new Waikoloa airport was opened on 1st July 1970 with a single 2 km runway. The previous airstrip that existed on the island was turned into Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area.

During the first year, over 500,000 passengers passed through the airport’s new tropical-style terminals. It is possible to view the aquaculture ponds and solar experiments at the neighboring Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority during landing and take-off. Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole was initially called Keāhole Airport because the ‘āhole fish was discovered nearby. It received its current name on 1st January 2017 in honor of Ellison Onizuka, who was an astronaut from Kona.

Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center is a hidden gem near the baggage claim area of the Kona Airport, where you can visit if you have some extra time. This center is dedicated to the memory of this Kona native who was the first Asian American to travel to space.

Travel to Waikoloa Beach via Kona International Airport

Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole is located approximately 7 miles from Kailua and 25 miles from Waikoloa and is the primary airport on Hawaii Island. This airport is loved by many travelers because of its attractive open-air design, welcoming and accommodating staff members, ease of navigation and the tiki hut-style roofs. The airport is equally charming and efficient.

Several airlines serve this facility such as Hawaiian, Mokulele, Kona Shuttle, Delta, Air Canada, United, Alaska Airlines and American. Visitors to Kona International airport love its charm in general, and there are also amenities and conveniences in the facility like restaurants, bars, lei, fresh flower stands, newsstands, and gift shops. ATMs are also within the facility if you need to withdraw some cash.

Kona International Airport has an open-air pavilion design that allows passengers to board and disembark using portable stairs. There is a boarding lift service for persons with disabilities, which needs to be pre-arranged with the airline being used.

This Waikoloa airport also provides a variety of easy-to-access choices for ground transportation. Numerous firms offer taxi services and are situated curbside at the front of the garbage claim area. Moreover, several pre-arranged ground transport firms like tours, courtesy vehicles and contracted transportation service the airport. If you want to rent a car to travel to Waikoloa beach, doing so is easy as there are several car rental companies just off the airport terminal.