Hawaii Aviation Forums Aviation Legistation Closing of Dillingham

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    • Patrick E. McNamee
      Post count: 14

      Attended the Town Hall Meeting in Wailua tonight.

      150 plus jobs are going away if the Hawaii DOTA gets away with this absurd closure of the Dillingham Airport.


      There is a lot of work to be done here on this misdeed. We need to hear from everyone and work together to be successful on keeping Dillingham open.

      Pat McNamee

      GACH – President

    • Rob Moore
      Post count: 23

      If you have any recent stories on how DOTA hurt you or GA I need to use them in a summary to HI Sen Gil Riviere. He would like to use this information to build examples on how DOTA unfairly treats HI GA. Gil is fired up and is a friend to GA (and HDH). I would hate to lose his momentum. Anything you can provide me this weekend would be greatly appreciated. Rob

    • H. Gert
      Post count: 4

      It is a disgrace that nobody from the Hawaii State government attended the meeting, unless I am mistaken. The Army is under no obligation to do so and is not part of this decision, anyway, but they may have to say something about the lease being terminated before it is due. Do I hear “lawsuit”? A decision of this magnitude has to have the governor’s support, and should have been preceded by discussions with the Army and with the public. The only alternative would be to turn operations over to a private corporation. It is a big question whether the character of HDH as a home for General Aviation would radically change as a result.

    • Claudio Friederich
      Post count: 11

      How does closing HDH hurt GA?  Lets forget for a moment all the lost jobs, the closing of several successful local businesses, and the damage to tourism from the loss of the glider and skydiving tour businesses.  One of the main ways GA can grow is introduction of young people to aviation.  HDH played a huge part in that, through the monthly Young Eagles flights and ground school classes.  Most of the kids attended regularly, and eventually went on to pursue training towards careers in aviation.  The closing of HDH will be the loss of all of this.  There is no other airfield on the island which could be used instead.  Twenty kids, taking flights for half an hour each, into and out of HNL, amongst the jetliners, monthly?  HNL tower would be thrilled at that idea.  JRF?  There is no facility there for the ground school classes.  Hold ground school on the tarmac, under the beating hot sun?  That would be great fun for the kids, a sure way to encourage an interest in aviation.  The cost of flight training has increased significantly over the last decade.  Glider training is cheap by comparison.  So, many kids are starting off learning to fly gliders, and transitioning to powered aircraft from there.  But HDH is the only field uniquely suitable for gliders.  You can’t fly gliders out of HNL or JRF, in proximity to jetliners.  So, this decision destroyed the local Young Eagles program in effect.

      How did dota hurt me recently?  For me personally, the dota hurt me by forcing many tenants, particularly skilled mechanics, to leave the state, with wildly escalating rents, and unreasonable restrictions against perfectly normal activities, such as commercial hangar use, routine maintenance activities such as aircraft painting, etc.  Now, there are so few mechanics left, and the few who are left are so booked out with work, that it is becoming very hard to get repairs or maintenance done.  This is not the fault of the mechanics, it is the state’s fault.  When a single mechanic has to take over the work of the customers of two other mechanics who have left the state, a now typical situation, of course any repair will take 3 times as long.  The disappearance of so many tenants in all walks of aviation also means that people much more experienced than I, who I could talk to for advice, are just gone.  Ultimately, these things threaten our safety, for obvious reasons.  For the last 20 months, my aircraft was grounded for repairs.  The damage was due to corrosion from rainwater, nothing else.  If hangar rates and lease terms were reasonable, I might have been able to hangar the aircraft (there is hangar vacancy), but it is not feasible.  Then, there are the dumb nuisances and hoops we need to jump through.  Everybody being told “drop everything, mandatory security meeting” on short notice, nevermind our jobs; being told “come to pass and ID office, we need to exchange your badge, because we decided it should have a different color”; in the last couple years having to start annually taking a test on stormwater runoff; people being forced to buy bathtubs to store factory-sealed bottles of oil in as “secondary containment”; all just silly chicanery that helps nothing, but just makes our lives hard.

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