Frequently asked questions (faqs)
Important to Know About Honolulu Harbor
What is a Master Plan?
Master Plans are long-range strategic guides that provide a framework for the orderly development of the commercial harbors. Master plans include analysis of existing conditions, identification of opportunities and constraints, projection of future needs, and recommendations, and proposals for the intentional development of essential facilities, typically over a 20 to 30-year period.
What is the scope of the Master Plan?
The scope of this Master Plan is to research and collect information, conduct an existing site conditions assessment, determine facility requirements through various analyses, develop alternatives, evaluate each alternative and select the preferred alternative.
How are the alternatives developed?
Alternatives are developed during the planning process based on information collected from user surveys and questionnaires, consultations with stakeholders, and input from industry professionals. Alternatives are refined with additional input from stakeholders and the public.
How is the preferred alternative selected?
Alternatives are vetted through the planning process using evaluation criteria and stakeholder input. Criteria will represent a balance of various issues and priorities, including DOT-H’s mission; State policies on emergency preparedness and resiliency, climate change, security, biosecurity, equity, and environmental protection; financial and operational performance criteria; and other objectives that may emerge from the planning process. A system for ranking and comparing alternatives by the criteria will be developed as part of the planning process. The outcome of the evaluation process is a recommended preferred alternative that balances the various demands of the harbor. This alternative represents the best interest of the State.
Who participates in the master planning process?
DOT-H’s master plans are developed based on the knowledge and experience of maritime users. In addition, government agencies, adjacent land owners and the public provide input into the planning process and the development of alternatives.
Who is the Master Plan Client?
Who owns Honolulu Harbor?
The majority of the wharves and adjacent fast lands surrounding the harbor, with few exceptions, and all surface water areas within Honolulu Harbor are owned by the State of Hawai‘i. DOT-H is responsible for efficient utilization of harbor facilities and lands, and for facilitating the conduct of maritime business with the public. Private operators occupy, use and invest in the State’s lands and port facilities through a variety of mechanisms, including permits, leases, rental agreements, and as directed by the Harbor Master.
Who manages Honolulu Harbor?
DOT-H is the port authority for Honolulu Harbor. DOT-H seeks to provide an efficient, accessible, and safe inter-modal system to both ensure the mobility of goods and people and enhance quality of life and economic prosperity. To this end, DOT-H is responsible for planning and designing, building and maintaining, and operating State maritime transportation facilities and infrastructure and for coordinating with other agencies in these activities. DOT-H is also responsible for efficient utilization of harbor facilities and lands, and for facilitating the conduct of maritime business with the public. DOT-H’s responsibilities are mandated by Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, Chapter 266 Harbors.
Who pays for harbor improvements?
Your tax dollars are not used to pay for harbor improvements. Instead, either cash or bond sales are used to fund capital improvement program (CIP) projects at the harbor. Revenue to support financing comes from the DOT’s Special Fund, which originates from shipping fees (wharfage, dockage, port entry fees, mooring charges, demurrage, cleaning and other harbor fees) rentals and lease fees. Wharfage and leases are the largest sources of revenue.
Ultimately, as consumers we all pay for harbor improvements through shipping costs passed on in prices of consumer goods that we rely on for our economic well-being and quality of life. For this reason, it’s important to pro-actively plan for harbor improvements and modernization that will ensure that the harbor operates reliably, efficiently and productively.
Why do we need these improvements?
Honolulu Harbor is the port-of-entry to the State. Honolulu Harbor’s berths and yards are congested by vessels, and cargo and passenger activities. This condition is expected to worsen as demand increases and more users compete for finite operational space at the harbor. Improvements are necessary to accommodate future demands in Hawai‘i.
What are the allowed uses at Honolulu Harbor?
Any permitted use under the industrial waterfront zoning (i.e., I-3) is allowed; however, priority is given to maritime-related uses, that is, uses that are dependent on proximity to the harbor and that are vital to support harbor functions and its efficient operations, such as cargo, commercial fishing, passenger ships and maritime support services, including ship repair and provisioning services. In addition, uses that are compatible with the harbor’s primary function and that serve to diversify and enhance revenues to DOT-H’s Special Fund to support harbor improvements and maritime operations are considered.