Hawaii DOT proposes $4.50 departure fee

HONOLULU -- The Hawaii Department of Transportation is proposing a $4.50 per person departure fee for passengers flying from Honolulu airport for mainland destinations to make up for losses from landing fees, airport concessions and increased security costs.

From Sept. 18 of last year through April 1, the state lifted landing fees for airlines as an incentive to keep Hawaii air routes intact following a tourism downturn after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

That move resulted in lost revenue for the airports budget, according to a spokeswoman for the state DOT. Additionally, she said, a decline tourist visits to the islands in the last eight months has cut concession fee revenues at the airport, too.

The department currently is writing administrative rules for public hearings on the fee and hopes to have it in place by next year, according to the spokeswoman.

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