Lihue Airport

Lihue Airport (IATA: LIH, ICAO: PHLI, FAA LID: LIH) is a state-owned public-use airport located in the Līhuʻe CDP on the southeast coast of the island of Kauaʻi in Kauai County, Hawaiʻi, United States, two nautical miles east of the center of the CDP.[1][3]

Lihue Airport

Kahua Mokulele o Līhuʻe
Runway 3-21 and the passenger terminal in background; fire station in foreground.
Airport typePublic
OwnerState of Hawaii
OperatorDepartment of Transportation, Airports Division
LocationLihue, Hawaii
Elevation AMSL153 ft / 47 m
Coordinates21°58′34″N 159°20′20″W / 21.97611°N 159.33889°W / 21.97611; -159.33889Coordinates: 21°58′34″N 159°20′20″W / 21.97611°N 159.33889°W / 21.97611; -159.33889
LIH is located in Kauai
LIH is located in Hawaii
Direction Length Surface
ft m
03/21 6,500 1,981 Asphalt
17/35 6,500 1,981 Asphalt
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 64 20 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Passengers2,832,281 (2016)
Aircraft operations129,572
Based aircraft46

The airport does not serve as a hub for any airline carrier. Numerous inter-island flights are available daily. American Airlines flies the A321neo to Phoenix and Los Angeles.[4] United Airlines and Delta Air Lines operate a mixture of Boeing 737s and Boeing 757s between Lihue and their mainland destinations. Alaska Airlines and WestJet operate Boeing 737-800s between Lihue and their mainland destinations; while Hawaiian Airlines uses A321neo and Boeing 717s for its inter-island routes to Honolulu, Kahului and Kona.[4] Southwest Airlines uses Boeing 737-800 for its inter-island service to Honolulu as well as mainland flights to Los Angeles and Oakland. Along with its inter-island service, Hawaiian Airlines serves Lihue Airport with the A321neo to Los Angeles and to Oakland.

The airport is mostly un-walled and open-air, and the check-in is completely outside. The airport is the primary gateway to Kauai for visitors (especially tourists), and has several rental car facilities. Five motion pictures have filmed scenes at the Lihue Airport: Blue Hawaii, Honeymoon in Vegas, Six Days Seven Nights, Soul Surfer, and The Descendants.

It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a small-hub primary commercial service facility.[5]

Facilities and aircraftEdit

Lihue Airport covers an area of 915 acres (370 hectares) at an elevation of 153 feet (47 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways designated 3/21 and 17/35, each measuring 6,500 by 150 feet (1,981 by 46 m). The airport also has one helipad measuring 64 by 64 feet (20 by 20 m).[1][6]

For the 12-month period ending on December 31, 2017, the airport had 129,572 aircraft operations, an average of 355 per day: 60% air taxi, 22% scheduled commercial, 16% general aviation and 2% military. At that time there were 46 aircraft based at this airport: 41% single-engine, 11% multi-engine and 48% helicopter.[1]

On a typical day, certain gates are used for certain airlines to arrive in and depart out of the Lihue Airport. Gates 9-10 are mostly used by United Airlines, flying Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-900ER aircraft along with occasionally using the Boeing 757-200. Alaska Airlines occasionally uses Gate 9 as well. Gates 7-8 are mostly used by Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines and WestJet. Hawaiian Airlines uses both Boeing 717 and Airbus A321 aircraft for gates 3-4, and 5-6 for their inter-island and US mainland flights, according to the airline staff. American Airlines mostly uses Gate 3 and occasionally Gate 4, using the Airbus A321 and Boeing 757-200 to fly in and out of Lihue. All gate areas are air-conditioned.

Hawaiian Airlines operates one Premier Lounge at the airport, open to first class travelers.[7]

Airlines and destinationsEdit

The terminal
Inside the airport terminal
Alaska Airlines San Diego, San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Portland (OR)
American Airlines Los Angeles, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Delta Air Lines Los Angeles, Seattle/Tacoma
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu, Kahului, Kailua-Kona, Los Angeles, Oakland
Southwest Airlines Honolulu, Kahului, Las Vegas, Oakland, San Jose (CA)
Seasonal: Los Angeles
United Airlines Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco
WestJet Seasonal: Calgary, Vancouver


Passenger numbersEdit

Annual passenger traffic at LIH airport. See Wikidata query.

Top domestic destinationsEdit

Busiest domestic routes from LIH
(September 2021 – October 2022)
Rank City Passengers Airlines
1 Honolulu, HI 615,810 Hawaiian, Southwest
2 Los Angeles, CA 272,470 American, Delta, Hawaiian, Southwest, United
3 Seattle, WA 143,870 Alaska, Delta
4 Kahului, HI 115,430 Hawaiian, Southwest
5 San Francisco, CA 93,710 United
6 Oakland, CA 92,850 Hawaiian, Southwest
7 Phoenix, AZ 73,560 American
8 San Jose, CA 56,700 Alaska, Southwest
9 Denver, CO 51,300 United
10 San Diego, CA 49,770 Alaska

Airline market shareEdit

Busiest airlines serving LIH (March 2021 – February 2022)[9]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Hawaiian Airlines 1,054,000 43.01%
2 Southwest Airlines 418,000 17.06%
3 United Airlines 334,000 13.61%
4 Alaska Airlines 288,000 11.75%
5 American Airlines 206,000 8.39%
6 Other 151,000 6.18%

Public transportEdit

The Kauaʻi Bus route 100/200 connects the airport to downtown Lihue.


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Form 5010 for LIH PDF, effective 2021-12-30
  2. ^ "Lihue Airport".
  3. ^ "Lihue CDP, Hawaii Archived 2011-11-19 at the Wayback Machine." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Flightradar24".
  5. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. October 21, 2016. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  6. ^ "LIH airport at". Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  7. ^ "Our Airport Premier Clubs". Hawaiian Airlines. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  8. ^ "Air Carrier Statistics (Form 41 Traffic)- U.S. Carriers". BTS, Transportation Statistics. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  9. ^ "Lihue, HI: Lihue Airport (LIH) Scheduled Services except Freight/Mail". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved September 11, 2022.

External linksEdit