The Hawai'i Airports Corporation's surprising and sudden demise

The 2018 Hawai'i State Legislature came to a disappointing close for those of us who support the creation of a Hawai'i Airports Corporation (HAC).

We came closer to success than we have in the three years we've fought for this important legislation, with a bill that garnered "yes" votes from 22 of 25 Senators and 50 of 51 Representatives, and which stood on the verge of a final vote on the floors of both chambers.

After several months of work, and 48 hours before the deadline for advancing bills for final passage, the joint Senate and House conference committee reached a verbal agreement on final language. The agreement did not contain every provision we wanted, but it was a good step forward and both the Airlines Committee of Hawai'i (ACH) and Hawaiian Airlines signaled their readiness to accept this compromise.

At 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 27, without warning or explanation, the House of Representatives dashed our hopes by discharging House conferees, killing the bill.

We thank Sen. Lorraine Inouye and the leadership of the Hawai'i State Senate for their willingness to champion transformational and badly needed change. We are still assessing whether it is worth our effort to try again next year. We will likely not know our path forward until House leadership explains the sudden reluctance to position this bill for passage.