HDOT and PSD take health safety action for islets in Keehi Lagoon

Posted on Mar 14, 2023 in Airports News, Main, News

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) and the Public Safety Department (PSD) are taking action to remind people of health and safety rules for the small islands in Ke‘ehi Lagoon.

The islets that are within the takeoff and approach paths for the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport fall within HDOT jurisdiction. Everyone is reminded that it is illegal to enter government property without permission. Applicable laws and rules are:

  • HRS 708-814 Criminal Trespass (for text of the law, click here)
  • HRS 708-814.7 Criminal Trespass onto State Lands (for text of the law, click here)
  • HAR 19-14-3 and 19-14-3.1 Conduct of the Public and Ke‘ehi Lagoon (for text of the administrative rules, click here)

State sheriffs and the HNL airport duty manager’s office are coordinating signage and regular patrols. “It is our kuleana to maintain the islets within the runway safety area,” said Hawai‘i Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen. “Due to recent events, this now includes reminding everyone that these are not areas where people can store items or animals.”

“Recreational use of the area will be allowed until a permanent permitting process is established,” said William “Billy” Oku Jr., PSD Deputy Director for Law Enforcement. “We understand that ocean recreation is an important part of what makes Hawai‘i such a special place, however, we want to ensure our residents and visitors are safe while doing so.”

HDOT had received complaints in the past month about a pack of dogs on one of the islets attacking fly fishers in the area. The dogs were voluntarily removed. HDOT is working on setting up a permitting process for anyone wanting to use the area recreationally.

HDOT will update the public when the permitting process is ready. In the meantime, recreational users can continue to use the area and are reminded to clean up before leaving. Food, drink containers, discarded fishing supplies, and anything else that was not there when you arrived should be packed up and carried out.