Transportation

Makani Kai Air Expands Molokai Service

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Makani Kai News Release

Makani Kai Air is now offering three more daily round trip flights between Honolulu and Molokai on Sundays and four more round trips on Fridays.

“We’re expanding the number of flights on those days in response to the number of passengers who were finding it difficult to get seats on those days,” said Richard Schuman, president of Makani Kai Air. “Since we began our service to topside Molokai last June we have been extremely happy with the number of Molokai residents who now call us their airline.”

Located at 130 Iolana Place along Lagoon Drive, Makani Kai Air is on the other side of the airport, away from the terminals and congestion.…

Kawela Bridge Dedication Ceremony

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Kawela Bridge Dedication Ceremony

Photo by Bianca Moragne.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT) celebrated the completion of the Kawela Stream Bridge Replacement Project last Wednesday with a dedication ceremony on Molokai’s Kamehameha V Highway.

State-contracted construction company Goodfellow Bros., Inc. Assistant Regional Manager Todd Svetin said he pursued a career in construction for the sense of pride he feels when a project, like the replacement of the Kawela Bridge, is completed.

“Everyone involved in this project should feel that same pride,” Svetin said. “…I’d like to thank the Molokai residents and neighboring property owners for their patience during the construction.”

According to the DOT, the $6 million project replaced the original bridge, constructed in 1940, with a new bridge that meets modern standards.…

Life-Saving Flights

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Life-Saving Flights

Photo by Catherine Cluett.

It usually signals unfortunate circumstances when Hawaii Life Flight (HLF) — an air ambulance service — arrives, but last week it was a celebration. The company has been offering emergency air medical transport on Molokai since 2006, and this year, made the island one of its bases. That means faster service for Molokai residents in need – and a better chance to save more lives, according to HLF staff.

“For all time-sensitive patients, like stroke, cardiac and trauma, every second counts… It can be life or death,” said flight nurse and Molokai base manager Josh Schroeder.

With the nearest bases on Oahu and Maui, the response time for HLF crew to arrive on Molokai for a call used to be between 45 minutes and an hour and a half, said Schroeder.…

Kawela Bridge Project Completion

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Kawela Bridge Project Completion

Photo by Bianca Moragne.

There’s good news for drivers who live on the east end as well as residents of the Kawela area: construction on the Kawela Bridge is finally complete.

The former, 70-year-old bridge was deteriorating, and a $6 million construction project began back in 2012 to remove the original bridge and replace it with what you see today.

The old bridge, constructed around 1940, was clogged with stream deposits which impeded the flow of water below the deck, resulting in flooding in neighboring properties, said Project Engineer at Goodfellow Bros., Inc., Clayton Morrell.

Goodfellow Bros., Inc was contracted to remove the old bridge and build a new one in its place with a capacity to handle high volumes of water to pass beneath the roadway and remove stream deposit buildup that migrates down, Morrell said.…

Makani Kai Re-Selected for Kalaupapa Service

Friday, June 20th, 2014

The Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded Makani Kai Air the Essential Air Service (EAS) subsidy to service Molokai’s isolated settlement of Kalaupapa for the next four years.

“Kalaupapa Settlement is thrilled to continue in the Makani Kai ohana and look forward to four more years of excellent on time service as we have enjoyed for the past two years,” said Mark Miller, the Department of Health Kalaupapa administrator.

Makani Kai was originally awarded the Kalaupapa EAS at the end of 2011 for two years, and filed for renewal to continue serving the settlement last year. Mokulele Airlines and two mainland companies also applied.…

Lawsuit Filed in Loretta Fuddy’s Death

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

The brother of former state Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy said in a lawsuit filed last Monday that a faulty engine is to blame for the Makani Kai plane’s ocean landing off Kalaupapa last December that caused his sister’s death.

According to The Associated Press (AP), Lewis Fuddy Jr. is suing engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation over the Dec. 11 crash that killed his sister. The pilot and seven other passengers on the flight survived without major injuries, but Loretta Fuddy died in the water after exiting the sinking Cessna Grand Caravan. Autopsy results concluded she died of cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, following the crash.…

`Ohana by Hawaiian Adds Maui and Oahu Flights

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

`Ohana by Hawaiian Adds Maui and Oahu Flights

Photo courtesy Hawaiian Airlines

After three months of operations on Molokai, `Ohana by Hawaiian is expanding its flights from Molokai to include a daily flight to Maui and a fourth flight to Honolulu this summer.

Beginning July 8, `Ohana will offer a round trip flight to Kahului, scheduled to depart from Molokai to Maui at 8:33 a.m., and returning from Maui to Molokai at 4:41 p.m. The airline is also adding an additional round trip to Honolulu for the summer period only. Currently operating three flights daily since its launch of Molokai and Lanai services in March, `Ohana will add a flight departing Honolulu for Molokai at 7:45 a.m., and from Molokai to Honolulu at 5:30 p.m.…

Island’s First (Temporary) Stoplight

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Island’s First (Temporary) Stoplight

Molokai’s first stoplight installed at the Kawela Stream Bridge construction site was only directing traffic for two weeks. As of Friday before going to press, Goodfellow Bros. Project Engineer Clayton Morrell said the traffic light is scheduled to be removed on Monday.

“It was only there so we could pave the west-bound lane and shoulder,” said Morrell. “[During that time] we had to shift to one-lane traffic.”

Contractor Goodfellow Bros. is putting the final touches on the state Department of Transportation (DOT) bridge project before scheduled completion at the end of July.

The next big change drivers will notice is a shift in traffic from the curved, detour route to traveling over the new bridge, said Morrell.…

Airlines Vie for Kalaupapa Service

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The competition is becoming fierce between two airlines for the opportunity to serve the Kalaupapa community under a federal contract. Makani Kai and Mokulele airlines are two of the four companies that applied for subsidies to provide regular flights into the small, isolated settlement. In a show of hands last week, 77 out of 78 Kalaupapa residents attending presentations by both airlines voted in strong support of Makani Kai, which has been serving the peninsula for the past two years.

Community members say they appreciate the personalized service that Makani Kai and its owner Richard Schuman provides.

“More than once Richard Schuman always tells me, ‘if anything goes wrong in Kalaupapa, you call me and I will come there myself and pick up the people.’ That’s the kind of person he is,” said patient resident Gloria Marks at a community meeting at Kalaupapa’s McVeigh Hall last Tuesday.…

Pilot Explains West Molokai Accident

Monday, April 14th, 2014

For John Weiser, the pilot whose plane crashed on his west Molokai airstrip on Feb. 27, it was a 1 in 10,000 accident.

“I must have landed on this airstrip more than 10,000 times in the last 30 years with no trouble,” he said, adding that he has more than 20,000 pilot hours logged. “When I came in to land that day, I was off-center. I should have turned around and come back, but instead, I did the turn and when I rolled out, I was in the trees.”

Weiser said his private grass airstrip on his Papohaku property has runway lights, and though some are out, he still lands at night, as he did on Feb.…