Kauai police investigate 2 people who arrived in small plane

LIHUE — Police are investigating two people who were dropped off on Kauai by a small plane in violation of travel regulations established in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kauai Police Department questioned the pair who arrived Sunday on an unauthorized flight from Maui, The Garden Island reported Tuesday.

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Kauai police Assistant Chief Mark Begley said the Hawaii National Guard alerted the department to the aircraft’s arrival at Port Allen Airport around 2 p.m.

Aircraft are currently not authorized to unload passengers at the airport.

National Guard members provided police with a description of the aircraft, the two travelers and the vehicle in which they left the airport, Begley said.

Police pulled over the travelers on Kaumualii Highway driving toward Lihue.

Kauai police are investigating their claim to have an authorized travel restriction exception, Begley said.

Police also identified the aircraft and the pilot of the flight, which originated in Kahului on Maui.

A similar event occurred April 22 at the Princeville Airport, a privately-owned facility that is not monitored by Lihue Airport’s air traffic control system.

A chartered flight from Honolulu arrived unannounced with four passengers. Kauai police located the travelers and confirmed the flight had the required travel paperwork, Begley said.

“After this incident, the Hawaii National Guard and KPD began monitoring all aircraft activity at both the Princeville and Port Allen Airports,” Begley said.

Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami said the police, National Guard and Kauai Visitor Bureau are working to ensure visitors to the island follow quarantine regulations.

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“Unfortunately, there are still folks out there who are trying to circumvent the system,” Kawakami said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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