The Airports Division of the state Department of Transportation (HDOT) held a groundbreaking ceremony today, March 17, for the construction of a new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting station at Hilo International Airport.
The new station will be a 21,000 square-foot, two-story facility with truck bays, a fueling area, training facilities, and improved accommodations for firefighters.
“Our crews here at the Hilo ARFF station provide very specialized Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting responses that are unique to the airport setting,” said Ross Higashi, Deputy Director of the Airports Division. “Each of these improvements will supply our firefighters with the facilities they need to train and carry out operations.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided 87 percent of the $18.8 million funding for the new building, with the State covering the remaining $3 million. The new station will fully comply with FAA regulations, and is expected to be completed by June 2016.
“The safety of our air travelers is always one of our highest priorities,” said Governor David Ige. “Each of these improvements will help to keep our firefighters better trained, better equipped and ready to respond when the need arises. We look forward to the work being completed on time.”