VFR at Honolulu (PHNL)

Important information about your VFR flight out of PHNL.

Aloha fellow island-junkies!

These VFR departure and arrival routes are designed to allow the safe and efficient transitioning of VFR aircraft in and out of the Honolulu Class Bravo airspace and away from the masses of IFR and larger traffic.

Unlike SIDs and STARs, these procedures have only textual descriptions to aid the pilot in navigation along the route. These procedures are found in the Pacific Chart Supplement published by the FAA.

FlyingInHawaii has published several resources for pilots planning to fly in Hawaii which includes two web pages dedicated to explaining the mandatory procedures at Honolulu. While their content is a few years old, the same procedures still exist, though they may be a few AIRACs out-of-date. For simplicity and conformity to VATSIM and HCF-specific procedures, please see the following information:

Departure Procedures

Honolulu has six departure procedures, four for East Ops and two for West Ops:

Runway 8s/4s:

Shoreline Departure
Freeway Departure
Redhill Departure
Punchbowl Departure

Runway 22s/26R:

Kona Departure
West Loch Departure

The VFR departure procedures are by PILOT REQUEST ONLY. Pilots requesting a departure procedure shall contact clearance delivery in the following manner:

“Honolulu Clearance, [aircraft model/callsign], information [ATIS letter], request [procedure name] departure.”
Example: “Honolulu Clearance, Twin Comanche 2894P, information Q, request Shoreline departure.”

ATC will issue a clearance like the following:

“Twin Comanche 2894P is cleared out of Honolulu bravo airspace via Shoreline departure, departure frequency [freq], squawk (code).”

When receiving clearance for a VFR departure procedure, pilots must follow the route as published in the textual description. These descriptions can be found via the Pacific Chart Supplement, FlyingInHawaii website, or by the descriptions below:

Shoreline Departure

Aircraft Type: Intended for twin engine aircraft.

Departing Runway 04L/04R maintain runway heading to the H-1 Freeway. Departing Runway 08L maintain runway heading to Nimitz Highway. Turn right, parallel Nimitz Highway proceeding direct to the center of Honolulu Harbor. Fly within ½ mile offshore passing abeam Kewalo Basin then within ½ mile of the shoreline until south of Diamond Head. Then turn left and resume own navigation remaining within 2 miles of the shoreline until departing Class B; maintain 1500 feet.

Freeway Departure

Aircraft Type: Restricted to helicopters and small propeller-driven aircraft only. Helicopters maintain at or below 1000 feet.

Depart Runway 04L or Runway 04R on runway heading to Moanalua Freeway (State Highway 78/Interstate Highway H201), or depart runway 08L and turn left to fly parallel to runway 04L to Moanalua Freeway. Then turn RIGHT to follow Moanalua Freeway eastbound to H-1 Freeway and Kalanianaole Highway until passing abeam Koko Head. Maintain 1500 feet while in CLASS B.

Redhill Departure

Aircraft Type: Restricted to helicopters and small propeller driven aircraft. Helicopters maintain at or below 1000 feet.

Depart Runway 04L/04R on runway heading to Moanalua Freeway (State Highway 78/Interstate Highway H-201) or depart Runway 08L and turn left to parallel Runway 04L to Moanalua Freeway. Then turn left and follow Moanalua Freeway northwest bound until departing Class B. Maintain 1500 feet while in Class B.

Caution: VFR traffic proceeding inbound from the H-1/H-2 Interchange descending out of 2000 feet.

Punchbowl Departure

Aircraft Type: Intended for helicopters and twin engine aircraft. Helicopters maintain at or below 500 feet.

Depart Runway 04L/04R on runway heading to Moanalua Freeway (State Highway 78/Interstate Highway H-201) or depart Runway 08L and turn left paralleling Runway 04L to Moanalua Freeway. Then turn right and follow Moanalua Freeway eastbound via H-1 Freeway to Punchbowl. Then proceed east of Magic Island, then offshore to remain within ½ mile of the shoreline until south of Diamond Head. After Diamond Head, turn left and resume own navigation remaining within 2 miles of the shoreline until departing Class B airspace. Maintain 1500 feet while within Class B.

Kona Departure

After departure, remain over the runway until departure end, then turn left heading 180, climb and maintain 1500 feet. Expect radar vectors to avoid traffic on Runway 26L LDA final approach course.

Helicopters depart the south ramp and proceed direct to HNL VORTAC; do not overfly any runways. From HNL VORTAC, fly heading 180, climb and maintain 1000 feet.

West Loch Departure

Aircraft Type: Restricted to helicopters and small propeller driven aircraft. Helicopters maintain at or below 1000 feet.

After departure turn right as soon as practicable until north of Runway 26R. Then fly direct to the center of West Loch of Pearl Harbor. Maintain 1500 feet while in Class B.

Caution: VFR traffic inbound from the H-1/H-2 Interchange will be descending out of 2000 feet.

Arrival Procedures

Unlike the departure procedures, the arrival routes can and will be ATC-assigned. Pilots are required to familiarize themselves with these procedures prior to flying in Hawaii. They are listed below:

North Arrival
West Arrival
East Arrival
Freeway Arrival
Kona Arrival
Tripler Arrival

Arrivals contact Approach Control and receive CLEARANCE BEFORE entering CLASS B. The HNL CLASS B is established from the HNL VORTAC. Caution, there is high density traffic in vicinity of the H–1/H–2 interchange.

Phraseology: “N7911X, cleared into Honolulu Bravo airspace via the East Arrival, runway 4R.”

North Arrival

Contact approach control prior to H-1/H-2 Interchange at or above 2000 feet.

PROCEDURE WHEN CLEARED:

FIXED WING AIRCRAFT: From the H-1/H-2 Interchange, proceed direct to and cross Ford Island at 1500 feet. Descend to pattern altitude direct to the Navy/Marine Golf Course, then via one of the following routes as assigned by approach control:

a. Runway 4L/4R: Enter left downwind Runway 4L/4R. Downwind must be flown over Runway 8L at Taxiways G/L. Aircraft must remain north of Taxiway RA. If unable advise ATC.

b. Runway 22R: Enter right downwind Runway 22R

HELICOPTERS: Proceed direct to Ford Island and hold, maintain at or below 1000 feet. Expect further instructions from the tower.


West Arrival

Contact approach control prior to Kahe Power Plant at or above 2000 feet.

PROCEDURE WHEN CLEARED:

From Kahe Power Plant, proceed direct to the H-1/H-2 Interchange at 2000 feet, then direct to and cross Ford Island at 1500 feet. Descend to pattern altitude direct to the Navy/Marine Golf Course. Enter left downwind Runway 04L/04R or right downwind Runway 22R/22L as assigned by approach control. Helicopters shall depart the H-1/H-2 Interchange direct to Ford Island and hold at or below 1000 feet.

Note: Aircraft below 2000 feet should contact Kalaeloa Tower prior to Kahe Power Plant.


East Arrival

Runways 04/08 configuration. Contact App Con prior to NORBY intersection (MKK262 radial 20 DME or CKH 112 radial 12 DME).

PROCEDURE WHEN CLEARED:

From NORBY, proceed southwest bound on the MKK 262 radial at or below 3500'. Expect radar vectors for right base to Runway 04R.

Freeway Arrival

Runways 04/08 configuration. Contact App Con prior to CKH at or above 2000.

PROCEDURE WHEN CLEARED:

From Koko Head, proceed direct to Waialae Golf course, then follow the H–1 Freeway to enter left downwind to Runway 04L. Downwind leg must overfly Runway 08L over Taxiway G/L. Maintain 2000´ until advised by tower.

Kona Arrival

Runways 22/26R configuration. Contact App Con prior to NORBY intersection at or below 3000.

PROCEDURE WHEN CLEARED:

Proceed to KoKo Head, then direct to Waialae Golf Course. Follow the H–1 Freeway to enter left base to Runway 22L.

Caution: Turbojet aircraft will be inbound along the south shoreline.

Tripler Arrival

Contact Approach control prior to H1/H2 interchange at or above 2000.

PROCEDURE WHEN CLEARED:

From H1/H2 interchange, proceed east along H1 then join Moanalua freeway to Tripler Hospital at 2000’ then via one of the following routes as assigned by approach control:

a. Runway 22R/22L: After Tripler, enter right base RWY 22R/22L.

b. Runway 4L/4R: Enter left downwind Runway 4L/4R. Downwind must be flown over Runway 8L at Taxiways G/L.

Aircraft must remain north of Taxiway RA. Maintain 2000’ until advised by tower.

Summary and Google Maps

It is the will of HCF that this post help make pilots and controllers more informed about flying in Hawaii and better prepared for the next flight. Please see the Google Map visualizing each of these procedures below.