Top Considerations When Operating to Lanai (PHNY)

PT 3 M minute read
Top Considerations When Operating to PHNY

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating in Hawaii and continues from our last article: "Top Operating Considerations for Kahului Maui (PHOG)."

Lanai (PHNY) is a privately owned Hawaiian island with a small airport and a 5,001-foot runway. Biggest draw at this location are the two Four Seasons resorts. Business aircraft operators planning on visiting Lanai should be prepared for very limited airport services.

The following is an overview of what you need to know when planning operations to PHNY:

1. Airport facilities/services are basic

PHNY is a small airport with only one terminal, no official fixed-base operator, and no Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower. Currently, the only scheduled commercial air services to Lanai are turboprop operations. Note that PHNY is not an airport of entry. International arrivals must clear Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine on another island prior to traveling to this location. The airport is open 24 hours and controlled by Kahului (PHOG) on neighboring Maui. Normal ATC hours are 0700-2300 local during summer and 0700-2200 local during winter. Once the Maui tower closes, arriving crews can remotely activate runway lighting or coordinate this via Honolulu (PHNL) ATC.

2. Know operating procedures

No airport slots or prior permission are required for PHNY. The airport handler, however, needs to be notified in order to arrange aircraft parking at this location. To arrange parking, the operator must submit a transient form to PHNY prior to arrival. The ground handler can arrange this form for the operator.

3. Aircraft parking is limited, and fuel is not available

The parking ramp was extended at PHNY recently and can now accommodate four general aviation aircraft – three larger Gulfstream/Global type jets, plus one midsized aircraft. Fuel is not available at this airport. Most operators heading to the mainland will travel to PHOG to pick up fuel and catering. Longer-range equipment such as a Bombardier Global or Gulfstream G550 equipment may be capable of a round trip from the U.S. west coast to PHNY and back without requiring a fuel uplift. Lav service is available, but be advised that there is no towbar at the airport, so pilots will need to follow the marshaller for smooth parking.

4. USDA inspection is available at this location

With pre-notification a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector will arrive at your aircraft one hour prior to departure – for domestic legs to the U.S. mainland – to ensure no restricted agricultural products are onboard. There are hotels that can provide catering that the USDA officer will accept, but it’s best to communicate with the hotel to ensure that the order is prepared appropriately. When you arrive from non-Hawaiian island locations, any open catering/food must be removed from the aircraft. Note that all onboard catering will be frozen prior to being disposed of.

5. Hotel options are limited

There are two major hotels and a smaller local hotel that are popular on Lanai. During the busy season – November through February – room prices are quite high, and crew room availability may be an issue. If hotel availability is problematic, options include relocating the aircraft to PHOG or, alternatively, taking a 30-minute boat ride to Maui where hotel options are more plentiful.

6. Consider local ground transport options

There’s one ground transport company on the island, and it provides both pre-paid transport (car with driver) and local taxi service. Lanai has only one car rental company, and prices are elevated. All rental vehicles must be picked up at the airport counter as they will not be delivered to the aircraft. Due to the number of unpaved dirt roads on Lanai, it’s best to rent a 4X4 vehicle. When you travel on back roads without a proper vehicle, the police may cite you. If you’re staying at a hotel on the island, they’ll arrange transfers to/from the airport and Lanai City for a fee.

7. Get to know local attractions

Lanai is an island where people travel to relax, and it’s a generally quiet location. The two major resorts, one on the beach and the other at the top of the hill, are the most popular attractions. Lanai City has a few local restaurants, and there are several attractive beaches to visit – including popular Shipwreck Beach.


Be sure to provide your ground handler with advance notification of your arrival, and be aware of PHNY airport procedures. While it’s rare that all four parking spots will fill up at this location, operators should be prepared to reposition to PHOG or PHNL if aircraft parking becomes an issue.

Later, we’ll discuss operating considerations for travel to Hilo.


If you have any questions about this article, contact Christine Vamvakas at

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