Hawaii will receive $17,014,671 to build an aircraft rescue and firefighting building at the Kona International Airport at Keahole, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, Rep. Mazie K. Hirono and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa announced Monday.
The money comes from a grant administered by the Federal Aviation Administration.
"These funds will help the fire fighters and first responders at the Kona International Airport house and properly maintain the equipment they need to handle any emergency. Recent statistics show us that visitor arrivals and spending are up this year and ensuring safe and efficient air travel for our residents and visitors is vital to maintaining the health of the industry," said Sen. Inouye.
"Kona's airport is a critical pillar for the Big Island's tourism industry, for businesses, and for visits to family and friends. This grant will keep Kona moving by investing in safety upgrades at the airport," said Sen. Akaka.
"Construction of the new aircraft rescue and fire fighting facility will help Kona International Airport better ensure the safety of both visitors and local residents,” said Rep. Hirono, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
"This grant is an excellent investment in both Hawaii's first responders and the safety of our travelers. Our visitor industry remains a primary driver of Hawaii's economy, so the development and maintenance of our airport facilities should be a core concern for our community," said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.
The construction of an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting building will extend the life of the ARFF equipment by protecting it from adverse weather conditions.