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Hawaii's governor-elect vows to keep airports openHawaii's governor-elect vows to keep airports open

Hawaii's new governor says five general aviation airports should stay open. With her election victory last week, Linda Lingle will become Hawaii's first female governor. However, she is already putting the victory celebration behind her as she begins to tackle some tough issues, including the fate of five general aviation airports in Hawaii.

Lingle's predecessor, Gov. Ben Cayetano, came under sharp criticism from AOPA last month when he announced his plan to privatize or close Dillingham, Waimea-Kohala, Upolu, Kapalua, and Port Allen airports. In recent news reports, Lingle has indicated she wants to stop some ideas the Cayetano administration proposed like closing smaller airports. "I think it's a bad idea anyhow, to be closing those airports. There may be other management arrangements that would be better. But we certainly shouldn't be closing those airports," Lingle recently told reporters.

"This is great to see that the new governor understands the importance of aviation," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We are excited about working with Gov. Lingle and her administration to preserve these airports and to promote general aviation in Hawaii."

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