A state House resolution that has a hearing Monday asks the state Department of Transportation to rename Honolulu International Airport after Hawaii’s greatest elected official: the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

(Note: One might say that honor belongs to Barack H. Obama, but that discussion is for another day.)

Forty-six representatives, including Speaker Joe Souki and Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto Chang, are supporting the DKI bill.

The bill explains that Honolulu International Airport began operations in 1927 as the John Rodgers Airport, with the name change happening after World War II.

Sen. Dan Inouye during a visit to Civil Beat's offices in 2010.
Sen. Dan Inouye during a visit to Civil Beat’s offices in 2010. Civil Beat

Here’s some rationale for the name change:

WHEREAS, the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, decorated veteran, distinguished United States Congressman and Senator, and devoted son of the islands, recognized the importance of a fully functional state airport system that connected the individual Hawaiian Islands, connected Hawaii to the continental United States, and connected Hawaii globally to the rest of the world; and

WHEREAS, through his leadership on the United States Senate Commerce Committee and United States Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Daniel K. Inouye was instrumental in marshalling extensive federal funds of about $30,000,000 annually to maintain and develop necessary and essential airport infrastructure; acquiring additional federal funding to build new air traffic control facilities, improve runways and taxiways, and install instrument landing systems for increased visibility and safety; and upgrading Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint facilities and equipment. …

Resolutions are generally advisory and non-binding.

Several things have been named for Inouye since his death in 2012, including a lighthouse on Kauai, a highway on the Big Island and a security center on Oahu.


About the Author