Kona Airport Closes Due To Runway Cracks

Kona Airport Closes Due To Runway Cracks

9

It’s not every day you seen an airport shut down due to cracks forming in the runway, but that’s exactly what happened at one major airport in Hawaii…

Kona Airport shuts down due to runway problems

On the afternoon of Monday, January 15, 2024, Kona International Airport (KOA) on the Big Island of Hawaii suddenly shut down. The airport has a single runway that’s 11,000 feet long, and some cracks were discovered in it. Degradation of the runway has reportedly accelerated due to recent rainfall.

Yesterday it got to the point where part of the runway condition was so bad that a 10 foot by 20 foot section of the runway needed to be resurfaced immediately to ensure safe operations.

Starting around 4PM on Monday afternoon, the airport was no longer able to accommodate any arrivals or departures, leading to a significant number of flight cancelations and diversions. Most inbound aircraft ended up diverting to Honolulu International Airport (HNL).

Even prior to this incident, the Hawaii Department of Transportation had planned a project to reconstruct the entire runway in 2024, and that’s still on track to happen. Suffice it to say that this is challenging work at an airport with just one runway, given that working on the runway requires it to be fully shut down. It’s expected that this work will happen progressively overnight, to minimize disruptions for airlines and travelers.

This is limiting access to the Big Island of Hawaii

Kona Airport will reopen on Tuesday

It’s impressive how fast officials are working to get the airport up and running again. Work has been taking place overnight, and the goal is to have the airport fully operational starting with the first flight on Tuesday morning.

Of course keep in mind that even with the airport reopening as of Tuesday, there will still likely be some operational impacts. After all, many flights had to divert, so those with flights departing Kona may still experience delays and cancelations. Be sure to check your flight status with the airline.

Bottom line

On Monday afternoon, Kona Airport was forced to close due to cracks in the runway resulting from recent rain. Authorities are working fast to get the airport operational again, and the plan is that flights will resume as of Tuesday morning. The runway is generally in need of a resurfacing, and it’s expected that the runway will be resurfaced throughout 2024, to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.

Are any OMAAT readers impacted by the Kona Airport runway closure?

Conversations (9)
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  1. Exit Row Seat Guest

    For those who still need to get to the Big Island, Hilo would be an alternative. Bit of an inconvenience, but valid for some.

    1. ImmortalSynn Guest

      Still smarts that UA cancelled their flight from the mainland. That certainly would've come in handy, right about now.

  2. Ross Guest

    It's not just passengers who are inconvenienced. UPS flies 747's to that airport.

  3. Donato Guest

    I do not have the background knowledge in materials but the timing is suspect. I really doubt concrete can harden overnight sufficiently to the extent that damage is not done by the weight of an aircraft. There are ways to speed up the process but this seems too fast. perhaps they are doing this as an emergency with intact plans to replace it anyway, as noted.

    1. Tee Jay Guest

      I'm sure they're using asphalt for the patch.

    2. Never In Doubt Guest

      Just when I thought no one could top the amateur airline network planners at OMAAT, I’m proven wrong.

      Enter the amateur civil engineers!

    3. Donato Guest

      I have taken postgrad courses in material sciences. I probably have more knowledge in this field than the average person. I also base my concern on the timeline used when my local airport had to redo one of their runways.

      Never In Doubt should realize i am questioning and clearly stated my lack of sufficient background, although likely more than most readers here.

    4. ET Guest

      I am a Professional Engineer, PE, and specialize in roadways/highways/runways. There are products and materials available which comply with DOT and FAA guidelines which can be used in emergency situations to repair runways. This is not new and these materials and methods have been around for 30+ years with a proven track record. Runway and highway inspections occur frequently and you would be amazed at how off repairs occur without the public knowing.

    5. Donato Guest

      Please allow me to personally thank you for your post.
      Having been at an Italian airport with the single runway closed as my equipment was inbound, well it is great to know there are solutions.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Exit Row Seat Guest

For those who still need to get to the Big Island, Hilo would be an alternative. Bit of an inconvenience, but valid for some.

2
ET Guest

I am a Professional Engineer, PE, and specialize in roadways/highways/runways. There are products and materials available which comply with DOT and FAA guidelines which can be used in emergency situations to repair runways. This is not new and these materials and methods have been around for 30+ years with a proven track record. Runway and highway inspections occur frequently and you would be amazed at how off repairs occur without the public knowing.

2
Never In Doubt Guest

Just when I thought no one could top the amateur airline network planners at OMAAT, I’m proven wrong. Enter the amateur civil engineers!

2
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