By CHELSEA JENSEN
A federal grant totalling more than $17 million to erect a new aircraft rescue and firefighting building is en route to Kona International Airport, state and federal officials said Monday.
The $17.01 million in Federal Aviation Administration grant funding will cover construction of the building, according to state Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Caroline Sluyter. It will be built on the Keahole Point airport’s north end, next to the nearly complete FAA-funded air traffic control tower.
The facility will include five bays for the fire station’s various apparatus, which includes three high-tech aircraft rescue and firefighting Oshkosh Striker vehicles, Sluyter said. It will also house a new quick response vehicle, she said.
The new building will also provide private sleeping quarters and a new work-out area for the station’s fire rescue personnel, Sluyter said. Administration offices, a meeting room and storage space for records is also in the plans.
Sluyter, however, was unable to provide a construction schedule for the facility as of press time.
All calls to the state department’s Airports Division were directed to Sluyter, who was unable to provide additional information on the grant funding as of press time. Hawaii Island District Manager Chauncey Wong Yuen was unable to comment without approval.
According to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who announced the funding, the facility will increase the lifespan of equipment used by firefighters and rescue personnel stationed at Kona International Airport’s fire department. Members of Inouye’s staff could not be reached for further information on Monday.
Email Chelsea Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.