Exhibit explains OGG code

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — A new exhibit at Kahului Airport will help travelers understand the meaning behind the Maui airport’s three-letter code.

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WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — A new exhibit at Kahului Airport will help travelers understand the meaning behind the Maui airport’s three-letter code.

Hawaiian Airlines unveiled the exhibit Monday featuring aviation pioneer Bertram James “Jimmy” Hogg. The exhibit is located near Gate 19 on the airport’s second level, so only ticketed travelers with be able to see it.

Maui District Airports Manager Marvin Moniz said the question he’s asked most often is where the OGG code comes from and what does it have to do with Kahului. While many codes stand for the city an airport is located in, it also can stand for the person an airport is named after.

The Civil Aeronautics Authority established the code in 1957 in honor of Kauai-born Hogg, who helped aviation authorities with new radio equipment on Maui. Hogg decided on OGG instead of HOG, said Rick Rogers, Hawaiian’s archivist and a former pilot for the airline.

Hogg started as a mechanic helper when he was hired by Inter-Island Airways in 1930, Rogers said. The airline became Hawaiian Airlines in 1941. Hogg flew the first interisland airmail flights in 1934 and even trained other pilots, Rogers said.

At one point, Hogg was the only pilot in the company to be rated to fly with instruments, which regulators required at the end of the 1930s, Roger said.

Hogg went from piloting the “most primitive airplanes” and in the “lowest position possible” who eventually captained DC-9 jets, said Peter Forman, Honolulu Community College aviation program coordinator.

By the time Hogg retired in 1968, he was flying jets with more than 100 passengers.

A few days after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Hogg moved important passengers such as plantation bosses and military officials from island to island. He flew without instruments because navigation aids were disabled after the attack.

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Hogg continued to fly into Kahului Airport even after the code in his honor was established, but he didn’t make a big deal about it, Rogers said.

Hogg died at age 84 in 1992 in California, where he moved to after living on Oahu.

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