Airport gates are closed from time to time. Sometimes renovations are needed, while other times an aircraft could have caused structural damage.
But a few gates at Hawaii’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu (HNL) had to be closed for a couple of days due to a very unexpected reason: Bed bugs.
The pests were first discovered at the airport’s E Gates at Terminal 2 on May 29, 2023.
The Hawaii Department of Transport (HDOT) then removed everything at the gate that they thought could be the source of the pests.
However, the following day, a Southwest Airlines manager contacted the Department of Transport once again, saying that the bugs were still there.
The HDOT then collected samples of the bugs, sent them for testing, where it received confirmation that they were bed bugs.
The HDOT then ordered the airport’s Gates E-5, E-6, and E-7 to be closed between May 30-31, 2023 while it underwent deep cleaning, carpet extraction, and non-toxic bug spray. A pest control company was called in for preventative measures.
An official told Hawaii News Now that additional cleaning will continue to take place over the next three weeks to prevent recurrence.
The bed bugs have not impacted flight operations.