Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
By Ken Middleton, first published in CivilAviationWorld.net
During a vacation to Hawaii in November 2019, I spent a few hours outside Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, in Honolulu, on the afternoon of the 13th. It was my wife and I’s first, long-awaited trip to Hawaii. I was able to sneak in some aircraft photography, as she had an afternoon spa session back at our hotel.
I took pictures from a small parking lot, and turn around, at the end of Lagoon Drive. Runways 26/8 are in front of you, and 4/22 is to your right. As with any public area that has traffic, please use caution and common sense when parking, and moving about. I saw a few law enforcement officers and vehicles, and I simply waved and smiled, and they waved back. There were also some large trucks using the turnaround, so you must be very aware of what’s going on.
I suspect the lighting would be a bit better in the morning from this spot, but it was OK as I panned to the East. There’s a fence with barbed wire along the top as well, and you must wait for the aircraft to lift off as not to get it in the photo.
In addition to the plethora of civilian traffic at the airport, there is quite a bit of military aircraft as well. The Hawaii Air National Guard and United States Air Force have units permanently assigned there – to include the F-22 Raptor, the C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135R Stratotanker. Also, many military units visit the base for training exercises, and for fuel and rest stop-overs.
Runway 26/8 seems to be the one used by the military, and I saw F-22 Raptors, and P-3 Orion and a C-17 depart from this runway.
The civilian traffic is quite diverse to include unique inter-island cargo and passenger, Hawaii to the mainland US and far reaching Pacific flights. Hawaiian Airlines is the largest operator, and I saw quite a few of their new Airbus A321 NEO aircraft, and while checking serials, noticed some were less than a year old. Two of the A330s I caught had the Oakland Raiders National Football League emblem on the forward fuselage.
I saw on Flightaware that the Airbus A380 operated from there, but I was not able to catch one.
Another nice feature about this spot at the end of Lagoon Drive, is that cargo aircraft taxi past it as they proceeded to their take off position.
All in all, it was a fun few hours. Obviously, I would like to go back and spend more time, and try the morning and for different liveries.