Japan Hawaii Travel Association, Department of Transportation Team Up to Cool Off International Arrivals - Photo courtesy ofDepartment of Transportation
Japan Hawaii Travel Association, Department of Transportation Team Up to Cool Off International Arrivals – Photo courtesy of the state Department of Transportation

HONOLULU – An airport improvement project that’s as simple as it is effective is helping to ensure that international arrivals’ first exposure to Hawaii’s climate is cool and comfortable.

Thirty-two ceiling fans recently installed in the outdoor exit area of the International Arrivals Building at the Honolulu International Airport are making a refreshing difference for the hundreds of travelers and many tour group employees that gather and do business daily following flight arrivals. Most travelers served in this area come from Japan, Hawaii’s largest market for international visitors.

Funded by the Japan Hawaii Travel Association (JHTA) and installed by the Hawaii State Department of Transportation (DOT), the ceiling fans have efficiently and economically solved a problem of limited air circulation in a high-traffic airport area. New arrivals have a more pleasant first impression of Hawaii, while tour group and airport employees are enjoying a more comfortable working environment.

“We’re pleased with the positive response to the fans, as this is a very busy, very important working area in which hundreds of travelers begin their Hawaii vacation each day,” said Akio Hoshino, JHTA President and Chairman. “After a long flight, we want their initial experience in Hawaii to be as enjoyable as possible, as they are helped by the tour group employees who are so essential to our industry’s success.”

Though open to the outdoors, the international exit area can get very hot and humid, especially during summer, as the flow of tradewinds are restricted by the surrounding parking and airport structures. At peak times, when more than 500 newly arrived travelers can be crowded in the exit area waiting for transport instructions or to board tour buses, the heat and humidity can be even more pronounced.

“This enhancement of the airport visitor experience is an effective public-private collaboration that works for the benefit of everyone who comes into this area,” said Ford Fuchigami, Interim Director for the Department of Transportation, as appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in May. “The ceiling fans are providing a welcome relief from the rising temperatures of summer and we appreciate how the Japan Hawaii Travel Association came to us with this initiative.”

JHTA purchased the 32 ceiling fans for a total cost of $3,350 and DOT Airports Division personnel installed them for no additional charge and will provide maintenance as needed.

JHTA is a voluntary, nonprofit organization comprised of travel companies in Hawaii that are dedicated to increasing travel demand from Japan and improving the experience for visitors following their arrival.