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Thread: Dillingham Airfield, HI lease expires, no renewal for civil operations (saddening)

  1. #1
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Dillingham Airfield, HI lease expires, no renewal for civil operations (saddening)

    Very sad change of events...

    If you are a skydiver or glider pilot, Dillingham Airport on the North Shore of Oahu is sacred ground. The place is known and envied by many in the aviation community. “Lost” was filmed there, what more can I say.

    I talked with State DOT and they said for sure Dillingham Airfield is losing the lease and will be turned back to the Army. At present the Army only uses it at night, during the day is completely civilian air operations. Hangar tenants will be given priority to apply for hangars at Honolulu, Barbers Point or any other State airport which I thought was nice of the DOT.

    My hear say:

    Note: Army would only give (5) year leases with no specific renewal policy. The previous representative from the Army turned out not to have any authority to negotiate land leases (Catch 22). Be careful of “People out of their lane” in the military!

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    Last edited by 8GCBC; 09-12-2020 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Title add Hawaii
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    NDRII's Avatar
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    Very sad! I delivered a C208 to the skydiving company at Dillingham in 2010 from Las Vegas. Is a really neat corner of civil aviation!
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  3. #3

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    My Grandmother took me there in the 70's , what a cool place. Lot's of changes lately. And now I bet you have to pay higher hangar leases
    If you get lost while flying, don't try hail a cop. Pick up the first railroad you find and hug it until you get somewhere.
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  4. #4
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flylowslow View Post
    My Grandmother took me there in the 70's , what a cool place. Lot's of changes lately. And now I bet you have to pay higher hangar leases
    Correct:

    Alternative hangar space, for displaced aviators, could be more expensive most likely.

    South Ramp T-hangar @ PHNL

    Hangar HNL Monthly Year
    Rent $717.00 $8,604.00
    Electrical $55.00 $660.00
    Insurance/Tax $500.00 $6,000.00

    Total estimated yearly direct cost:

    $15,264.00 per year


    Must be approved by DNLR Land Board which takes (6) months, if approved. Financial and Background check(s) are paramount for approval
    2018 R44
    IA/A&P, ATP, SES, CFII, MEI, Rotor PPL (2500 TT)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXI48e1heuo

  5. #5
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Scared me. I thought you meant in Alaska.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
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    Couple of things to clarify; The State of Hawaii is not "losing the lease at Mokuleia, Dillingham Airfield, they are not renewing it from the United States Army because they want to cut costs to the State and because there have been a couple of bad accidents there of late. These accidents make the State of Hawaii a bit liability gun shy. (Hawaii is easily sued and beaten on too many of these issues.) Some of these accidents/incidents have been in the news and a few other incidents that don't make the news. Sometimes the aircraft are not directly involved. These other incidents are typically skydive related and stay under the radar.
    And Hawaii is the least general aviation friendly of all the States and Territories of the USA. Although the insurance/taxes figured above I don't agree with. My aircraft insurance takes care of Hawaii's requirements for hangar insurance since I lease space with the State of Hawaii DOT and our tax is under 5%. And electric is included where I am.
    Getting back to the issue; it is a shame to lose Dillingham, the pandemic actually had the effect to stave off closing for a year. And I would not think a group of people could form an LLC and put together a package to lease from the Army. I would hope this could happen, but not optimistic. The place could probably break even or make a couple of dollars if government was not running it.
    I'll stop for now. I may have made a few mistakes here but this is my understanding on the situation. 8GCBC thanks for bringing this up and please fill in gaps and correct me where needed.
    It is a terrible thing to lose an airport, particularly where they are so few and this situation is truly a travesty.
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    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Skysurfer, thank you. Looks like there was more to the story than I was aware of.

    The insurance number was for an R44 flight and hangar liability policy only (personal use).

    Times have changed. I remember when anybody could get a hangar at Honolulu without even having ID. Just write a check and take the keys.
    2018 R44
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    Kodiakmack's Avatar
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    That is so sad. I got my commercial glider rating there a couple years ago, and have enjoyed going back and being able to rent gliders for cheap and fly for hours easily on that ridge. It's hard to watch these places that keep the vibe alive slowly disappearing
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  9. #9
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Yep, back in 1970, you could rent a 90 hp J-3 out of HNL. Flew it over there, shut down the engine and surfed the cliffs over Dillingham for an hour. If the engine wouldn't start again, no sweat, just descend and land, get out, prop it and go home.

    Also, that was a remote recovery and dispersal strip for the military during WWII.

    Unfortunate to see it closed.

    MTV
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  10. #10

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    Sad, I have rented gliders there several times in the last 20 years. Lots of fun soaring over the ridge and out over the water. Last time I was there I remembered to take my gopro so at least I'll have the memories.
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  11. #11
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Maybe there is still hope if the Army allows limited management of Dillingham and lowers the rent...

    Examples of military owned public access around the island:

    (1) Over on Eastern Oahu, Bellows AFB allows limited access for camping and beach activities. There was political pressure to open the place to civilians and it worked. There still is DOD (ID only) cabins (Bush and Clinton stayed there) and we reserve a cabin at least once a year to get away from Honolulu. Still a small slice of paradise.

    (2) The Northern most point of Oahu has the Kahuku Motocross Track and it is actually owned by the Army. But, they let civilians managed the place. Occasionally, the Army (USARPAC) will do an exercise and close it during the week for a few days.

    (3) South shores of Oahu, Barbers Point (Kalaeloa) is coexisting with Part 91, USCG, and Air National Guard.

    Yes, I had a cup of Kona Coffee and feeling very optimistic at the moment. Disclaimer: I’m not “connected” politically and I’m lucky to barely find an apartment downtown that we can afford.

    Thank you folks for relaying good vibes we appreciate it out here.
    2018 R44
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  12. #12
    Kodiakmack's Avatar
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    I'd sign a petition and/or call someone who might need a bunch of calls from a bunch of concerned citizens ; 0
    HAVE FUN. DON'T DIE.
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    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Sad. I have fond memories of Dillingham. Used to hop rides for one of the glider operators while on layovers with FedEx. Took a young couple (Air Force enlisted) up and he proposed to her during the ride!
    Lou
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    the day I took my commercial glider ride. Some of the funnest flying I’ve done.
    HAVE FUN. DON'T DIE.
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  15. #15
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    Sunday news about keeping Dillingham open to the general public:

    https://www.staradvertiser.com/2020/...4f72ef6e4ff261
    2018 R44
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  16. #16

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  17. #17

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    https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/15/NTSB/OpenDocument.aspx?Document_DataId=10036869&FileNam e=WPR19MA177%20-%20Ops%20Factual%20(FINAL)-Rel.pdf

    https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=99686

    Not want to drag on through a sad subject but these things should be known. Hopefully we can carry on and do a better job.
    Last edited by Skysurfer; 11-01-2020 at 04:53 PM.
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  18. #18

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    Article from General Aviation News, which seems to always be a quality informative newsletter. Relatively accurate story but missing the background and not quite getting the mind set of the State of Hawaii government.

    https://generalaviationnews.com/2020...e-in-paradise/
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  19. #19

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    Another article from earlier this year. We all know AOPA and kudos to them for all they (we) do. AOPA have not been engaged much in Hawaii until the last ten years maybe and have found out that it is a tough nut to crack.

    https://generalaviationnews.com/2020...-oahu-airport/
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