8 Survivors, 1 Death in Makani Kai Kalaupapa Crash — UPDATED

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

8 Survivors, 1 Death in Makani Kai Kalaupapa Crash — UPDATED

Survivors were airlifted from Kalaupapa to waiting ambulances in Kalae, Molokai. Photo by Catherine Cluett/All Rights Reserved The Molokai Dispatch

Updated Thursday, 12/12 at 3 p.m.

A Makani Kai flight departing Kalaupapa this afternoon crashed into the water about 3:45 p.m. shortly after take-off about 1/2 mile off the peninsula last night. Eight on board the Cessna Grand Caravan survived, while Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy died in the water after exiting the sinking plane.

The pilot, Clyde Kawasaki, has been flying for Makani Kai for one year. He previously worked as a pilot for Aloha Airlines and has experience working thousands of hours of flight time, according to a Makani Kai representative.…

Airport Construction on Hold in Kalaupapa

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Airport Construction on Hold in Kalaupapa

The Kalaupapa airport will soon be receiving a long awaited fire truck garage and services. However, with design discrepancies on where to place the garage and a strict timeline, the project might be delayed further, postponing safety services Kalaupapa residents seek.

A team of designers and engineers as well as representatives from the state Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) presented a design scheme to Kalaupapa residents Nov. 12, seeking public input and approval to move forward with the project.

In 2010, the Kalaupapa airport was scheduled to receive a fire truck and a team of Maui County firefighters who would rotate in 42-hour work shifts, according to Department of Health Kalaupapa Administrator Mark Miller.…

Airlines Compete to Serve Kalaupapa

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Kalaupapa is regarded as one of the most isolated communities in the country. With 2,000-foot cliffs separating the peninsula from topside Molokai and no outside road access, the only way to and from the settlement is by foot, mule or plane. As Makani Kai Airlines reaches the end of their two-year federal contract to provide Kalaupapa with affordable airfare, they—along with three other airlines—are bidding to offer subsidized service to the settlement’s residents and visitors beginning in January 2014.

The Essential Airline Service (EAS) is a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) program that provides small, rural communities access to major national and international airport hubs though a subsidized commuter airline system.…

Island Air to Decrease Molokai Flights Again

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Air carrier Island Air is once again decreasing the number of flights the carrier offers to Molokai — this time to two per day, starting in November.

“The decision is pretty simple,” said Island Air CEO Paul Casey, who took the position two months ago. “We’re matching capacity with demand.”

In March, the company cancelled all its flights between Molokai and Maui, and in May, decreased flights between Molokai and Honolulu from five to three per day.

At that time, then-president Les Murashige told the Dispatch the Molokai schedule reduction was temporary.

“Our intent is to put additional flights back [between Molokai and Honolulu] in August or September,” said Murashige in March.…

Makani Kai Air Offers $39 Fare

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Makani Kai News Release

Makani Kai Air is offering a special $39 fare between Honolulu and Molokai as a means of introducing itself to the traveling public. The $39 fare, which is being offered for a limited time only and must be made online at, includes all fees and taxes. The airline, which began its topside Molokai service in June of this year, has up to eight daily round trip flights between Honolulu and Molokai.

“This special fare is to thank the local people who have embraced Makani Kai and helped make our entry into the market a success,” said Richard Schuman, president of Makani Kai Air.…

Molokai Electric Vehicle Movement

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Molokai transportation may recharge as eco-energy specialists and community members have begun brainstorming how to introduce more electric vehicles (EV), charging stations, and energy and cost efficient ways to power them on the island.

“Molokai is an absolutely perfect fit for electric vehicles,” said Ethan Elkind, an EV expert and climate policy associate from the University of California Berkeley School of Law.

Elkind met with Molokai residents last Wednesday to discuss the long process of increasing EV drivers on the island. They discussed some of the obstacles Molokai faces including lack of on-island EV dealers, charging stations, and costly energy rates, which inhibit large-scale EV adoption.…

Bringing Electric Vehicles to Molokai

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance News Release

Molokai residents know all too well about high gas prices.  The island has some of the highest in the nation.  Electric vehicles – cars that can plug in to the electricity grid for some or all of their power – promise relief from these high costs.  Plus, they offer a sustainable and energy-independent way to get around the island, reinforcing the island ethic of caring for the environment.

A few Molokai residents have managed to purchase electric vehicles, taking advantage of a current price war among the automakers and new lease deals that remove high upfront costs. …

Impaired Driving Enforcement

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Maui Police Department News Release

The Maui Police Department will be participating with the nationwide Impaired Driving National Enforcement crackdown from August 16 to September 2, 2013. Police will set up intoxication checkpoints at unannounced locations and times during this two week period. Intoxication checkpoints will be set up county wide, which will include Hana, Lanai and Molokai.

People are encouraged to drive sober. Those that will be consuming alcoholic beverages are reminded not to drive and to use a designated driver or find an alternate mode of transportation.

Police will also step up enforcement with seat belt usage, speeding and electronic mobile devices.…

Kawela Bridge Construction on Hold

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

For years, residents of east Molokai have been waiting on improvements to Kawela Bridge to prevent flooding during heavy rains that leave nearby yards filled with debris and the highway occasionally impassible. The estimated $8.4 million project began last summer and completion was expected this January. Now, state permitting delays likely mean construction will continue through next summer, according to officials at Goodfellow Bros., the company contracted for the project.

Work on the bridge has been on hold since early March, said Todd Svetin, Goodfellows project manager. That’s when a state permit relating to water quality expired, according to Caroline Sluyter, the public information officer for the state Department of Transportation (DOT).…

Sharing the Hokulea

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Sharing the Hokulea

Last week, nearly 500 Molokai residents, students and visitors got the chance to step foot on the Hokulea — a replica of the traditional Hawaiian double-hulled sailing canoe — docked at the Kaunakakai Wharf. The vessel is touring Hawaii before embarking on a three-year Worldwide Voyage that will span three years, 46,000 miles, 21 countries and at least 65 landfalls.

More than 20 crew members — some of whom are from Molokai — sailed the Hokulea from Lanai on Monday, July 8. During the Worldwide Voyage, an average crew of 12 to 15 will navigate the canoe on its journey as ambassadors of the aloha spirit and spreading a message of care for the environment.…