If your travel plans have you heading towards the western side of The Valley Isle, you may find yourself heading through Maui's Kapalua Airport (JHM).
Located 7 miles north of the town of Lahaina, Kapalua Airport (also known as Kapalua - West Maui Airport) scores high marks from travelers for its relaxed yet professional atmosphere, beautiful ocean views, friendly staff, and efficiency. One visitor even claimed that it's 'West Maui's best kept secret'- quite a compliment! With that said, let's see what makes it such a pleasant airport experience.
Kapalua Airport is relatively new; it was constructed in 1987 by Hawaiian Airlines in order to replace the Kaanapali Airport, a relatively small regional airport on Maui's northwest end that was closed in order to make room for additional development in the area. The President of Hawaiian Airlines at that time was John Henry Magoon; in order to honor him, the Kapalua Airport designator was made JHM.
Hawaiian Airlines operated the largest aircraft to ever service the airport- the de Havilland Canada Dash 7, a four engine turboprop with a 50-passenger capacity. In 1994, the Dash 7 was retired from Hawaiian's fleet and the airline no longer serviced the airport.
Today, Kapalua Airport encompasses 50 acres and hosts commuter/air taxis and commercial propeller air carriers. About 300 passengers per day utilize the airport, most of whom travel via Mokulele Airlines, the only carrier offering passenger service. There are no major improvement projects in the works as per an existing agreement with the County of Maui. It is safe to say, however, that most visitors to the Kapalua Airport would likely not mind the lack of major overhauls, as the small-scale service with a smile is exactly what they love about it.
Private vehicle parking is available for a fee and monthly permits may be purchased. If you won't be driving yourself, there are several pre-arranged ground transportation companies who provide service. Taxi cabs are also available on a pre-arranged basis. And although there are no car rental companies based at the airport, there are several that provide service upon request. Public transportation is not available.
Travelers with disabilities should contact the their air and ground transportation providers for further information and arrangements. Some may have difficulty as planes arrive on the tarmac and passengers disembark via stairs.
There are no restaurants or shops at JHM. Vending machines are available for snacks as well as newspapers.
It seems so many airports become a hindrance to one's travel adventures. Their enormous size and overwhelmed staff can negatively affect even the calmest flyer's trip. But no worries like this at JHM; travelers appreciate that the airport itself becomes a positive and relaxing part of their Maui experience. We hope you'll love it, too.
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