Frequently Asked Questions

How did Hilo get the IATA designator of ITO?

The question is not easily answered.  There are three possible theories of why Hilo was designated ITO.

  • The airport was designated ITO after one of the first Hawaiian Airlines Hilo Airport station managers by the name of “Mr. Ito”.
  • The airport was designated ITO because both ILO (Mandurriao Airport in Iloilo,Philippines) and HIL (Shillavo Airport in Ethiopia) were already taken.  ITO sounded a lot like Hilo.
  • The most intriguing theory is because of number two above.  Hilo was designated ITO because in the first half of the twentieth century, residents of the Big Island of Hawaii referred to the City of Hilo as Hilo Town, thus Hilo Town being the closest city or town to the airport.

How early should I arrive prior to a flight?

Check with your airline.  Each airline has different check-in requirements.

I have a flight from Hilo to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and then connecting to the Mainland.  How will my luggage be handled?

Most airlines will check your luggage through to your final destination.  Please request that your checked luggage be tagged to your final destination at your point of origin. Your ticket jacket contains claim tickets for your individual pieces of luggage.  The claim ticket has the airport code for the final destination for your luggage.  If the final destination on the claim ticket reads HNL, your luggage will be dropped off at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.  The common airport codes are:

  • HNL Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
  • ITO   Hilo International Airport
  • KOA   Kona International Airport at Keahole
  • LIH   Lihue Airport
  • OGG   Kahului Airport
  • LAX   Los Angeles International Airport
  • SFO   San Francisco International Airport

Is there some sort of visitor information assistance at the airports?

All major islands except Lanai have a Visitor Information Program at the airport which assist the traveling public with airport and tourist-related information.

For passengers with short layovers at Hilo International, are there facilities for showering and short naps?

The airport does not have such facilities.  The closest hotels are approximately three miles from the airport.

Are there baggage/luggage lockers or baggage storage facility at Hilo International Airport, where are they located, and what are the rates, sizes available, and hours or operation?

Due to enhanced airport security requirements, baggage storage and locker facilities at Hilo International Airport are not available.

Are there wheelchairs available for use by disabled passengers?

Airlines provide assistance to passengers with special needs through their skycap (porter) service.  Disabled passengers should make arrangements with their air carrier in advance, preferably when reservations are made/confirmed.

How can I comment or make a suggestion about my experiences at the airport?

The Airports Division maintains the Airports Suggestion Hotline which accepts comments and suggestions from the public.  The hotline has handled comments ranging from commendations for airport/airline employees to the amount of noise generated by aircraft operations.  The phone number for the hotline is (888) 697-7813.

Is it necessary to rent a car in Hilo?

Hilo does not have a public transportation system.  Rental cars and taxis are the recommended transportation modes.

I have a product and/or service that I think the traveling public can use.  Who shall  I contact?

Please write a letter describing the product and/or service and a brief description about your company to the Airports Administrator.

I have a product and/or service that I think the airport can use.  Who shall  I contact?

Please write a letter describing the product and/or service and a brief description about your company to the Airport Manager with a courtesy copy to the Airports Administrator.