Kahua Mokulele o Līhuʻe
Runway 3-21 and the passenger terminal in background; fire station in foreground.
|Owner||State of Hawaii|
|Operator||Department of Transportation|
|Elevation AMSL||153 ft / 47 m|
Lihue Airport (IATA: LIH, ICAO: PHLI, FAA LID: LIH) is a state-owned public-use airport located in the Līhuʻe CDP on the southeast coast of the island of Kauaʻi in Kauai County, Hawaiʻi, United States, two nautical miles east of the center of the CDP.
The airport does not serve as a hub for any airline carrier. Numerous inter-island flights are available daily. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines both operate Boeing 757s between Lihue and their mainland destinations. Alaska Airlines and WestJet operate Boeing 737-800s between Lihue and their mainland destinations; while Hawaiian Airlines uses Boeing 717s for its inter-island routes to Honolulu, Kahului and Kona. United Airlines uses both 757s and 737-800s to serve its mainland destinations. Along with its regional jet service, Hawaiian Airlines also serves Lihue Airport with Boeing 767s to Los Angeles, as well as its seasonal services (soon to be daily service with A321neo) to Oakland.
The airport is mostly un-walled and open-air, and the check-in is completely outside. The airport is the primary gateway to Kauai for visitors (especially tourists), and has several rental car facilities. Four motion pictures have filmed scenes at the Lihue Airport: Honeymoon in Vegas, Six Days Seven Nights, Soul Surfer, and The Descendants.
It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a small-hub primary commercial service facility.
Facilities and aircraft
Lihue Airport covers an area of 915 acres (370 ha) at an elevation of 153 feet (47 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways designated 3/21 and 17/35, each measuring 6,500 by 150 feet (1,981 x 46 m). The airport also has one helipad measuring 64 by 64 feet (20 x 20 m).
For the 12-month period ending on May 31, 2005, the airport had 104,276 aircraft operations, an average of 285 per day: 48% air taxi, 26% scheduled commercial, 23% general aviation and 2% military. At that time there were 28 aircraft based at this airport: 43% single-engine, 7% multi-engine and 50% helicopter.
On a typical day, certain gates are used for certain airlines to arrive in and depart out of the Lihue Airport. Gates 9-10 are mostly used by United Airlines, flying Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-900ER aircraft along with occasionally using Boeing 757-200. Gates 7-8 are mostly used by Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and WestJet. Hawaiian Airlines uses both Boeing 717 and Boeing 767-300ER for gates 4 and 5-6 for their inter-island and US mainland flights, according to the airline staff. American Airlines mostly uses Gate 3, using Airbus A321 and Boeing 757-200 to fly in and out of Lihue. Island Air passengers board and deplane via tarmac. All gate areas are air-conditioned and gate assignment do change on occasion.
Lihue Airport runway needs to be extended to comply with Federal Aviation Administration rules. The Garden Island reports one of the airport's two runways ends just a few hundred feet from the ocean, with no room for a necessary buffer. State Department of Transportation Deputy Director Ford Fuchigami said the runway will be extended to ensure proper clearance. The airport recently received more than $400,000 in airport capital improvement funds for the reconfiguration. A spokesman for Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the southwest end of the runway will be extended by 855 feet, while still providing the standard 1,000-foot runway safety area for the northeast end of the runway. Abercrombie spokesman Justin Fujioka said the project is estimated to be completed in November 2016.
Airlines and destinations
|Alaska Airlines||Oakland, San Diego, San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Portland (OR)
|American Airlines||Los Angeles, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth (begins December 15, 2017)
|Delta Air Lines||Los Angeles, Seattle/Tacoma (begins December 21, 2017)|
|Hawaiian Airlines||Honolulu, Kahului, Kailua–Kona, Los Angeles
Seasonal: Oakland (Daily service resumes April 11, 2018) 
|United Airlines||Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco|
Top domestic destinations
|1||Honolulu, HI||722,830||Hawaiian, Island Air|
|2||Los Angeles, CA||224,590||American, Delta, Hawaiian, United|
|5||San Francisco, CA||66,400||United|
|7||Oakland, CA||41,110||Alaska, Hawaiian|
|8||San Diego, CA||31,700||Alaska|
|9||San Jose, CA||28,780||Alaska|
- FAA Airport Master Record for LIH ( PDF), effective 2015-04-30
- "Lihue CDP, Hawaii Archived 2011-11-19 at the Wayback Machine.." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
- "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). FAA.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
- Lihue Airport at Hawaii Department of Transportation
- (PDF), effective September 14, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for LIH, effective September 14, 2017
- Resources for this airport: