The Ka’anapali Airport memorial plaque was dedicated in 2010 — twenty-four years after the airstrip closed.

Here at Aero Law Group PC, we are airplane people that happen to be attorneys. One such airplane person on our team is attorney Amanda Kuehne, who joined Aero Law Group in 2017. Her practice includes representing and advising clients in the sale, lease, exchange, financing, and operation of business and commercial aircraft, including fractional shares in aircraft. Amanda also advises clients on FAA-regulatory, federal income tax, federal excise tax, state sales and use tax, personal use, insurance, and risk-management issues. She developed her passion for aviation while working at Papillon Airways, Inc. for ten years in the accounting department. (You can see more about Amanda’s experience here.)

In addition to aviation, Amanda is passionate about traveling and has a particular fondness for visiting Maui. Her enthusiasm for aviation includes searching for “lost airports”. She was able to combine the two interests on a recent to Maui when Amanda received a tip about one such lost airport from a colleague whose wife had visited the airport as a child.  This information led her to search out the Ka’anapali Airport (HKP).

The landing strip was a mere thirty feet from the beach.

The Ka’anapali Airport was an active airport for twenty-five years beginning in 1961. The airstrip had just one runway, a small terminal, and an upstairs bar. Due to the short runway and safety concerns, this airport was restricted to just one operator – Royal Hawaiian Air Service. The airline operated 14 flights a day out of Ka’anapali Airport to connect tourists to other islands. This airport was particularly thrilling to land at because the runway began just 30 feet from the beach, and strong tradewinds added extra excitement for the descent.

According to David Lien, a FedEx employee who delivered to the airport, Ka’anapali, “looked like something out of an old WWII tropics movie.”[1] Lahaina News reports that “employees would have water balloon or wet paper towel fights in the hour or two before the last flight of the day.”[2] This fun was not only found on the ground-floor terminal.  The airport was also famous for its bar: High School Harry’s Windsock Lounge where travelers enjoyed the special Bloody Mary.

The Ka’anapali Airport connected tourists in Maui to the other islands in Hawaii


The Ka’anapali airstrip closed down in 1986 due to the expansion of resorts in the Ka’anapali area. The Windsock Lounge moved and became Blackie’s Bar in Lahaina.[3]  Sadly, without the routes coming out of that airport the Royal Hawaiian Air Service ceased service shortly thereafter. [4]

It required some sleuthing for Amanda to find the location of the former airfield as there is no trace of the strip and terminal.  Knowing that the airport closed due to expanding tourism, Amanda searched around the Ka’anapali resort area, finally locating a plaque that marks the former Ka’anapali Airport (HKP). This memorial plaque was dedicated in 2010 at Kahekili Beach Park.  If you want to see the plaque for yourself, the park is located on the north end of the Ka’anapali resort area and includes Airport Beach Maui.

ALG Attorney Amanda Kuehne celebrates with her father, Stewart, after locating the lost Ka’anapali Airport (HKP)

Please let us know about any lost airports you are aware of so we can add them to our destination list! And, please contact us here at Aero Law Group next time you have a legal question about an aviation transaction or need legal representation in your aviation transaction: 425-456-1800 or visit fill out the Contact Us form on this website.


[1] Freeman, P. (2019, July 6). Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Hawaii, Maui Island. Retrieved from

[2] Vieth, M. (2010, July 1).  Pilots return to dedicate Kaanapali Airport monument. Lahaina News. Retrieved from

[3] Ibid.

[4] Freeman, P. (2019, July 6). Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Hawaii, Maui Island. Retrieved from