LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department is currently investigating an incident involving an unauthorized small plane from Maui that dropped off two passengers in Kaua‘i on Sunday.
Assistant Chief Mark Begley said the Hawai‘i National Guard alerted the KPD of the aircraft’s arrival at Port Allen Airport around 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 3. Aircrafts are currently not authorized to unload passengers at this airport, and National Guard members provided police with a description of the two travelers, their vehicle and aircraft, Begley said.
The passengers were pulled over on Kaumualii Highway driving toward Lihu‘e claiming to have an authorized travel restriction exception, which the KPD is currently investigating.
KPD has identified the aircraft and pilot, which originated Kahului, Maui. Both are under investigation, Begley said.
A similar event happened in April at the Princeville Airport, a privately-owned airport which Lihu‘e Airport’s air traffic control does not monitor.
On April 22, a chartered flight from Honolulu arrived unannounced with four passengers in Princeville.
“KPD was able to locate and identify those individuals, and verify their compliance with the travel and quarantine restrictions,” Begley said. KPD was able to confirm that this flight filled out all the proper travel paperwork before leaving O‘ahu.
This first event put officers on the defense. “After this incident, the Hawaii National Guard and KPD began monitoring all aircraft activity at both the Princeville and Port Allen Airports,” Begley said.
Mayor Derek Kawakami described the May 3 Port Allen event during his COVID-19 Daily Update Monday afternoon.
“Our police department and National Guard and Kaua‘i Visitor Bureau have gone above and beyond in their efforts to ensure that incoming visitors here on Kaua‘i are following quarantine rules,” Kawakami said. “Unfortunately, there are still folks out there who are trying to circumvent the system.”