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, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines all operate a mixture of Boeing 737s and 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. Southwest Airlines uses Boeing 737-800 for its inter-island service to Honolulu as well as mainland flights to Los Angeles and Oakland. United Airlines uses 767s, 757s and 737-800s to serve its mainland destinations. Along with its inter-island service, Hawaiian Airlines serves Lihue Airport with the A321neo to Los Angeles and to Oakland. The Airport is in the progress of redesign. The updated master plan calls for a single 9 gate terminal fully enclosed, air conditioned, and a customs and immigration building. The terminal is called to be the first full terminal rebuilt in over 30 years in the State of Hawaii. After the rebuild, the airport is to be owned and operated by the Kauai Transportation Authority. A 3,000 stall CONRAC is planned near Helipad 1. A major renovation of the parking lot is planned, it is to be replaced with a 2 level parking structure. This whole project is aiming for LEED Gold certification.
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. Five motion pictures have filmed scenes at the Lihue Airport: Blue Hawaii, 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 December 31, 2017, the airport had 129,572 aircraft operations, an average of 355 per day: 60% air taxi, 22% scheduled commercial, 16% general aviation and 2% military. At that time there were 46 aircraft based at this airport: 41% single-engine, 11% multi-engine and 48% 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 the Boeing 757-200. Alaska Airlines occasionally uses Gate 9 as well. Gates 7-8 are mostly used by Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines and WestJet. Hawaiian Airlines uses both Boeing 717 and Airbus A321 aircraft for gates 3-4, and 5-6 for their inter-island and US mainland flights, according to the airline staff. American Airlines mostly uses Gate 3 and occasionally Gate 4, using the Airbus A321 and Boeing 757-200 to fly in and out of Lihue. All gate areas are air-conditioned and gate assignments do change on occasion.
Hawaiian Airlines operates one Premier Lounge at the airport, open to first class travelers.
Airlines and destinations
Top domestic destinations
Airline market share
The Kauaʻi Bus route 70 connects the airport to downtown Lihue.