In the summer of 2018, I flew from the Ontario/LA International Airport to Chicago Midway for leisure. The layout of Ontario Airport is very similar to Lihue Airport, from the road design check-in area, and, more importantly, the limited ground-level parking.
However, one thing that stood out to me was the implementation of online parking reservations at ONT. This meant travelers flying in and out of this small Southern California airport were able to reserve a parking spot online, eliminating the stress of the “first come, first served” basis seen at many other airports.
This past Memorial Day weekend, travelers at airports across the state were cautioned of the limited parking during these peak travel periods. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser stated that parking will be in high demand during the summer travel periods between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
In addition, many travelers are not aware that parking is not available until they arrive for their flights. That is why an online parking reserve program would be a fast, convenient solution to the organization of logistics and transportation for many travelers.
It is known that Hawaii’s airports are aging, overutilized, and in need of expansion, as seen at HNL. However, expanding a parking garage is expensive and time-consuming.
Online-reserve parking will not be able to solve the limited parking at Hawaii’s airports, but make it more convenient in making decisions in getting there. Travelers heading out on business, seeing family members, going on vacation, and visiting places such as colleges like myself are able to book parking for their cars in advance.
Additionally, since the online system is aware of the amount of space in the lot, travelers are able to make the decision to park their cars based on the capacity of the lot as shown on the site. A system like this should be utilized at all Hawaii airports to ensure convenience for the traveler, especially during these peak travel periods.
As an island state, air travel is essential in bringing business, commerce, families and our different cultures together as one. Hawaii airports are essential to this gathering of these aspects.
An online parking reservation system will help expedite travelers in and out of Hawaii’s airports. Locals are informed about the congestion in the parking garages at the airports and are able to reserve spots when available.
As the summer travel period comes to a start, a system like this would help travelers streamline through the airport and onto their flights. We can’t build a parking garage overnight, but we can organize the limited space we do have. A reservation-based parking system will achieve these short-term goals, making more seamless travel for locals.
Kallen Wachi is a resident of Hanapepe.