Kona airport construction continues: Nan Inc. awarded $8.3M USDA inspection building contract

  • Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today) Mainland bound passengers pass luggage through agricultural inspection at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport on Saturday.

Construction is anticipated to begin next year on a new USDA inspection building at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole.

Honolulu-based Nan Inc. was the apparent low bidder for the project putting in an offer of $8.3 million, about $1.8 million less than the state Department of Transportation had estimated the building would cost. Also submitting bids were Isemoto contracting at $14.7 million and Arita Poulson at $10.6 million.


The scope of the work includes constructing the inspection building as an expansion to the airports existing baggage make-up building, connecting oversized baggage screening machines at existing bag drops and other work, including installing video surveillance equipment.

If all goes as planned, construction is anticipated to start in early 2021 and take about a year to complete, said DOT Spokesman Tim Sakahara. Funding for the project was released earlier this year by Gov. David Ige.

“All of the construction projects have a positive impact to the economy by creating hundreds of jobs and infusing money into the local community. In collaboration with the Airlines Committee of Hawaii, HDOT has continued construction projects throughout the pandemic as the improvements will benefit the State and the traveling community,” Sakahara said.

The department also awarded on Oct. 27 a nearly $863,000 contact to Wesley R. Segawa and Associates Inc. to manage the construction of the building.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the permanent Federal Inspection Station, said Sakahara. Nan Inc. started the $59.4 million in March and is expected to be complete in fall 2021, ahead of a December 2021 deadline to complete the building.


The deadline was set as part of a 2016 agreement by the state and U.S. Customs and Border Protection that permitted the airport to re-establish using — for up to five years — the white tent currently housing the Federal Inspection Station, allowing for the resumption of international direct flights to the airport.

The Department of Transporation also recently completed work on the $97 million Terminal Modernization Project. The new security checkpoint opened on Friday.

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