Thursday, Hawaii Governor David Ige announced that a notice to proceed (NTP) was issued to the University of Hawaii at Hilo for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea.

What began in 2008 -- now, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has confirmed the completion of pre-construction requirements, prompting the permit to be issued.

“The notice to proceed with construction gives project managers, workers and others from our community authorization to begin work on the telescope," said Attorney General Clare Connors.

 A start date will be determined as appropriate agencies work with TMT representatives. It will be built on UH-managed lands in the conservation district regulated by the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR).

Governor David Ige said, "We will proceed in a way that respects the people, place and culture that make Hawaii unique."

In order for construction to safely being, the state says four unauthorized structures were removed from Mauna Kea Thursday morning that were on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and DLNR property. 

The two ahu on the TMT site were ruled to not constitute a traditional or customary right or practice by the Hawaii Supreme Court.

"As this project moves forward, I ask everyone who goes to Mauna Kea to respect this unique place and its fragile natural and cultural resources," said Suzanne Case of BLNR.

Henry Yang, Chair, TMT International Observatory Board of Governors, issued the following statement in response to the news:

“TMT is pleased and grateful that the notice to proceed has been issued by the Department of Land and Natural Resources to the University of Hawaii. We remain committed to being good stewards of Maunakea, and to honoring and respecting the culture and traditions of Hawaii. It has been a long process to get to this point. We are deeply grateful to our many friends and community supporters for their advice and for their encouragement and support of the TMT project over the years.”

To view the timeline of events for the Thirty Meter Telescope, click here.