The Associated Press - The U.S. Transportation Department has selected an airline to operate subsidized air service to and from Kalaupapa. Hawai'i's congressional delegation and the state Department of Transportation said in a joint press release last week that Makani Kai Air Charters will operate the flights. The Schuman Aviation Co. Ltd. subsidiary will use nine-seat Cessna Grand Caravans to fly between Kalaupapa and Honolulu.
Sen. Daniel Inouye said the Kalaupapa community has been unfairly burdened with rising ticket prices, infrequent flights and inadequate services for residents with disabilities. He said patients may now travel to Honolulu for medical care without spending exorbitant amounts on airfare. Federal officials in March said the Transportation Department would subsidize air service to and from the Hansen's disease settlement.