Lihue Airport

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Lihue Airport

Kahua Mokulele o Līhuʻe
Runway 3-21 and the passenger terminal in background; fire station in foreground.
Airport typePublic
OwnerState of Hawaii
OperatorDepartment of Transportation, Airports Division
LocationLihue, Hawaii
Elevation AMSL153 ft / 47 m
Coordinates21°58′34″N 159°20′20″W / 21.97611°N 159.33889°W / 21.97611; -159.33889Coordinates: 21°58′34″N 159°20′20″W / 21.97611°N 159.33889°W / 21.97611; -159.33889
Lihue Airport is located in Kauai
Lihue Airport
Lihue Airport
Lihue Airport is located in Hawaii
Lihue Airport
Lihue Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3/21 6,500 1,981 Asphalt
17/35 6,500 1,981 Asphalt
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 64 20 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Passengers2,832,281 (2,016)
Aircraft operations129,572
Based aircraft46

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.[1][3]

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. United Airlines uses both 757s and 737-800s to serve its mainland destinations. Along with its regional jet service, Hawaiian Airlines serves Lihue Airport with the A321neo to Los Angeles and to Oakland. American Airlines also serves seasonal services to Dallas/Fort Worth with Boeing 767s.

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. Four motion pictures have filmed scenes at the Lihue Airport: 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.[4]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

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).[1]

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.[1]

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, and WestJet. Hawaiian Airlines uses both Boeing 717 and Airbus A321 aircraft for gates 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.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The terminal
Inside the airport terminal
Air Canada Seasonal: Vancouver (Suspended due to Boeing 737 Max groundings)
Alaska Airlines Oakland, San Diego, San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Portland (OR)
American Airlines Los Angeles, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Delta Air Lines Los Angeles, Seattle/Tacoma
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu, Kahului, Kailua–Kona, Los Angeles, Oakland
United Airlines Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco
WestJet Seasonal: Vancouver


Top domestic destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from LIH
(May 2018 – April 2019)
Rank City Passengers Airlines
1 Honolulu, HI 649,470 Hawaiian
2 Los Angeles, CA 268,320 American, Delta, Hawaiian, United
3 Seattle, WA 145,860 Alaska, Delta
4 Kahului, HI 131,870 Hawaiian
5 San Francisco, CA 84,000 United
6 Oakland, CA 67,320 Hawaiian
7 Phoenix, AZ 60,050 American
8 Denver, CO 53,770 United
9 Kona, HI 41,740 Hawaiian
10 San Jose, CA 39,020 Alaska

Public transport[edit]

The Kauaʻi Bus route 70 connects the airport to downtown Lihue.


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for LIH (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2015-04-30
  2. ^ "Lihue Airport".
  3. ^ "Lihue CDP, Hawaii Archived 2011-11-19 at the Wayback Machine." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  4. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  5. ^ "OST_R - BTS - Transtats".

External links[edit]