PLANNING PROCESS and principles

Planning Process

The Master Plan is being developed through a public outreach program involving maritime and non-maritime stakeholders, including harbor users, adjacent landowners, government agencies, civic organizations and the public. The Master Plan planning process is anticipated to take 2 years to complete.  The planning process will follow three general phases of work:

Phase 1

Research, Data Gathering and Studies

Information about the harbor will be collected from research, field visits, user surveys and questionnaires, consultation with stakeholders, and input from industry professionals. In addition, the project team will analyze existing conditions, harbor operations, and cargo capacity; forecast future market conditions and cargo capacity demand over the Master Plan’s time horizon; and conduct other studies as necessary to determine the harbor’s future needs, constraints, and opportunities.

Phase 2

Alternatives Development

Master Plan alternatives will be developed through a series of meetings with stakeholders and the public based on the information, issues and opportunities identified in Phase 1. Stakeholder input will be obtained through a Planning Advisory Committee (PAC), which will provide general review of proposed alternatives, and a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and TAC sub-committees that will provide focused, issue-based input on various aspects of the harbor, such as cargo handling, emergency preparedness and resilience, biosecurity, revenue diversification and other issues. The PAC and TACs will comprise maritime and non-maritime stakeholders. Public Information Meetings (PIM) will be held at key milestones during the Master Plan process to obtain public input on proposed alternatives.


Alternatives will consider improvements that will benefit maritime uses (cargo operations, commercial fishing, passenger vessels and maritime support services) in accordance with DOT-H’s mission. In addition, within harbor lands under DOT-H jurisdiction, there may be opportunities for non-maritime development that is compatible with the harbor’s primary function and that serves to diversify and enhance revenue to DOT-H’s Special Fund, which supports harbor improvements, maintenance and operations. Potential non-maritime development will be limited to marginal harbor lands that are not well-suited for pure maritime activities, such as areas lacking back land for cargo yard operations.


Phase 3

Draft and Final Master Plan

Alternatives will be vetted and refined with input from the TAC and PAC and with additional input from the public. The recommended preferred alternatives will be formulated into a master plan that balances the various demands of the harbor and that represents the best interest of the State.


Planning Principles

The planning process will be guided by the following principles.


DOT-H is committed to ensuring that the planning process is transparent. This means that the planning analysis, alternatives development, criteria used for decision-making and the decision-making process will be documented and open to public review. A transparent process will ensure that the project team and State personnel guiding the planning effort are accountable to the public for the process and outcomes. It will also ensure that stakeholders and public participants in the planning process will be able to track and understand the basis for decision-making.


DOT-H is committed to ensuring that the planning process and outcomes are equitable. This means that project information and opportunities to participate in the planning process will be accessible to all interested stakeholders and members of the community regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, language, income level, or physical ability. Equitable outcomes mean that selected Master Plan alternatives will provide a well-balanced variety of opportunities for harbor users to fairly compete and prosper. It also means that capital expenditures that are guided by the Master Plan will be directed and prioritized to address critical harbor needs without preference to specific harbor users.


DOT-H will conduct the planning process in accordance with a public participation plan that outlines outreach strategies and resources to ensure that the project complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the State’s Limited English Proficiency Policy and other Environmental Justice principles.


DOT-H is committed to a data-driven planning process. This means that alternatives development and recommendations will rely on unbiased, quantifiable, outcomes-based data derived from a systematic assessment involving cargo capacity analyses, market forecasts, demand projections and a technical assessment of harbor needs.

supports dot-h's mission

The Master Plan preferred alternatives must support the DOT-H mission:


To effectively improve and manage a commercial harbors system that facilitates safe and efficient operations of commercial cargo, passenger, fishing, and other commercial maritime-related services and support activities within the State of Hawai‘i and which serves to sustain and enhance the State’s economic prosperity and quality of life.