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Kona Airport - All Information on Kona International Airport (KOA)

Kona International Airport (KOA) Kona International Airport (KOA)

Kona International Airport

Kona International Airport, 73-200 Kupipi St, Kalaoa, HI 96740, USA
+1 808 329 3423
+1 808 329 5073 (Lost + Found)
Kona Airport - All Information on Kona International Airport (KOA)

Kona Airport is officially named Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole and it has the IATA code KOA and the ICAO code PHKO. It is located on the west side of the Big Island of Hawaii, USA. It serves the resorts of the North Kona and South Kohala districts as well as the town of Kailua-Kona.

Kona Airport is operated by Hawaii Department of Transportation and owned by the State of Hawaii and it is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017-2021, where it is categorized as a small hub facility primarily for commercial service.

Kona International Airport is a hub for Mokulele Airlines which operates inter-Hawaiian flights to Kahalui and Kapalua.

The airport serves domestic overseas flights, interisland flights, international flights, commuter/taxi flights as well as general aviation.

Some of the land on which the runway is built was created by a lava flow that occurred in 1801 that extended the shoreline an estimated 1.6 km/1 mi, adding around 4 square meter/1.5 square mile of land to the island, creating Keahole Point.

The new airport was opened on the 1st of July, 1970 while the old airport was converted into the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area. This new airport had a single 2,000 m/6.500 ft runway blasted out of the lava using three million pounds of dynamite in a 13 month time span.

Kona International Airport was originally known as Ke-āhole Airport after the ʻāhole fish, also called Hawaiian flagtail, was found nearby.

The primary carriers serving the airport during the early and mid-1970’s were Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines with inter-island flights and by early 1985 United Airlines was operating nonstop service from both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In 1994 the extension of the single asphalt runway to 3,353 m/11,000 ft was completed and in 1993 the airport changed names to Keāhole-Kona International Airport and then in 1997 it became Kona International Airport at Keāhole. The airport was renamed again on January 8, 2017 to its current name in honor of the fallen astronaut Ellison Onizuka who had a successful space mission on Space Shuttle Discovery before losing his life in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and who was born and raised in Kona.

The current international flights that are servicing the airport are flights to and from various locations in Canada and Tokyo, Japan.

Kona Airport is the only remaining major airport in the Hawaiian Islands using portable stairs to board and un-board passengers since the airport doesn’t have any jetways due to the terminals being structured as single story buildings designed as a series of open air pavilions.

There are a total of three terminals, Terminals 1-3, with Terminal 3 being a commuter terminal. Terminal 1 includes gates 1-5 and Terminal 2 gates 6-10.

In 2019 the airport saw more than 4 million passengers come through it, while they saw 1,334,916 in 2020 along with 93,838 aircraft operations.

The closest international airport is Hilo International Airport located on the north side of the island 62.2 mi/100.1 km from Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole.

An access road extending from the Queen Kaahumanu Highway forms a one-way loop around the public parking and rental car check-in facilities for easy access.

Arrivals, Departures and Airlines at Kona Airport

Parking at Kona Airport

The airport’s parking lot is located across the street from the two main terminals, Terminals 1 and 2, and it is accessible for short and long term parking and features parking spaces for accessible parking as well as for electric vehicles, and it also has charging stations for up to 2 EVs.

The first 15 minutes of parking is free.

The Cell Phone Lot, where greeters can wait in their vehicle for the traveler to be ready for pick-up, is located just north of the terminals, only a few minutes away. Vehicles may be parked here for up to one hour, but they may not be left unattended.

Transfers at Kona Airport

Rental Cars – All the car rental companies serving Kona Airport are located off-airport and courtesy shuttles frequent the airport and their different locations.

Buses – Hele-on offers two bus routes that service Kona Airport up to twice a day in each direction during weekdays. Some stops are not serviced on Saturdays and there is no service at all on Sundays. Transfers to other routes are free within 2 hours of purchasing the ticket.

Tickets are purchased on the bus in the fare box with exact change as neither the fare box nor the driver handle change. A single adult ticket is $2.00 while children under the age of 5 travel at no cost. There are some discounts available for seniors and school children/youth with a valid ID card for this purpose.

The airport bus stop is located next to the rideshare pick-up zone outside terminals 1 and 2.

TaxisTaxi ranks at Kona Airport are located outside the baggage claim areas of Terminals 1 and 2. A journey to Kailua-Kona Town takes around 15-20 minutes and will cost approximately $25.

Pre-arranged Shuttles – Several shuttle service companies have permits to pre-arrange passenger pick-up/drop-off at the airport. These services are arranged by the traveler or a representative in advance. Pick-ups are at the Center Median between Terminal 1 and 2. See more about transfers to and from Kona Airport.

Persons with Disabilities at Kona Airport

The airport with its unusual design, is accessible for those with mobility impairment with ramps on curbside where it is also allowed to load or unload, although vehicles may not be left unattended.

The airport is however on one floor only and does not have jetways and all flights all boarding are done through portable stairs. For disabled travelers this means that a lift service for boarding has to be organized through the airline in advance of the flight.

Toilets for the disabled can be found in several places at the airport and text telephones, TTYS, for the deaf and hard of hearing can be found in the departure areas and in the baggage claim areas, and Telecommunications Relay Services, TRS, is available statewide through calling 711.

Guide dogs and service dogs are not considered as “pets”, but there are rules and laws for bringing in animals to the island. For more information about bringing a service dog or guide dog, please visit https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/.

Hotels near Kona Airport

There are a number of hotels to suit all budgets and requirements at or near Kona Airport.

Smoking at Kona Airport

Smoking at the airport is only allowed in the open air parking lot as the State Law prohibits smoking inside and within 2 feet of any doorway, window or ventilation duct. Signs are posted throughout the terminals as a reminder since much of the airport is open air.

ATMS at Kona Airport

ATMs/cash machines are located in both terminals both before and after security control.

WiFi at Kona Airport

The free and unlimited WiFi network offered by Kona Airport is called “KOA Free WiFi”. After the device has connected to the network, open up a browser and select “Free Unlimited WiFi” to start your session.

Shop and Dine at Kona Airport

There are shops both before and after security control, although some of them close in between flights.

Food and beverages can be enjoyed both before and after the security control.

Automated External Defibrillators at Kona Airport

There are AEDs located throughout the public area of the airport for use in a cardiac emergency. As the equipment is removed to be used rescue staff is alerted and 911 will be called for further assistance. Some of the staff has been trained in CPR, the use of AEDs and what to do in a cardiac emergency situation.

Visitor Information at Kona Airport

The Visitor Information Program assists visitors with information at their booths that are staffed from 7.45 AM to 9 PM daily. On times when the booths are not staffed information is available through courtesy phones, by calling +1 808 329-3423 or through sending an email to dot.air.vip@hawaii.gov.

Lost and Found at Kona Airport

Who to contact when an item is lost depends on where it was lost.

Contact the airline if the item is lost on an airplane.

Contact TSA, +1 808 331-6930, if an item is lost at the TSA Security Checkpoint or from a checked luggage.

Contact the airport’s lost and found on the number listed below if an item is lost in the terminal.

Things to do in Big Island

There are a number of activities to suit all ages and interests in the region - see a selection of tourist activities in Big Island, Hawaii in the United States of America.

Kona Airport Contacts

Address: Kona International Airport, 73-200 Kupipi St, Kalaoa, HI 96740, USA
General Phone: +1 808 329-3423
General Email: airvisitorinfo@hawaii.gov
Lost and Found Phone: +1 808 329-5073
Official Website: http://airports.hawaii.gov/koa/

Local Information

Drive on: Right
Electricity: 120V/60Hz
Plug: A, B
Currency: USD ($)

Services at Kona International Airport

Useful Information about Kona International Airport

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Eating and Drinking at Kona International Airport

See all bars and restaurants at Kona International Airport, including locations and if they are before or after check-in

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