THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

170

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

urging the department of transportation to establish a working group to evaluate options that provide additional air service to remote and underserved communities across the state.

 

 


WHEREAS, as an island state, Hawaii is reliant upon air travel to ensure residents and tourists have timely transportation options to navigate between islands; and

 

WHEREAS, since January 2021, only one passenger airline has provided service to the general public out of Molokai Airport; and

 

WHEREAS, while the airline does their best to accommodate the needs of passengers, including additional routes, flight times, and ordering larger planes, the cost of plane tickets remains a burden to many Molokai residents who need to travel for essential reasons, including work, medical appointments, and family; and

 

WHEREAS, in addition to costly ticket prices and limited flights, there are significant flight delays and cancellations that have caused undue burden on Molokai residents; and

 

WHEREAS, presently, airlines and air travel are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration; and

 

WHEREAS, the lack of consistent, available flights between rural communities and major hubs such as Honolulu pose a health and safety issue; and

 

WHEREAS, the collaboration of federal, state, and county agencies is needed to ensure residents who live in rural or underserved communities have greater access to air travel options for essential reasons; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2023, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Department of Transportation is urged to establish a working group to evaluate options that provide additional air service to remote and underserved communities across the State; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to evaluate options, including:

 

(1) An airline subsidy to offset the cost of passenger tickets; and

 

(2) Encouragement of other airlines to provide service at rural airports, including Molokai Airport; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to consist of the following members:

 

(1) The Manager of the Federal Aviation Administration Honolulu Airports District Office;

 

(2) The Deputy Director for Transportation Airports, or their designee;

 

(3) The Chairperson of the Public Utilities Commission, or their designee;

 

(4) A representative from each county transportation department; and

 

(5) Any additional members whose expertise may be relevant and as recommended by the working group; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2024; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to be dissolved on June 30, 2024; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Manager of the Federal Aviation Administration Honolulu Airports District Office, Director of Transportation, Deputy Director for Airports, Chairperson of the Public Utilities Commission, and director of each county transportation department.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

Department of Transportation; Air Service; Rural and Underserved Communities; Working Group