The Kahului airport (Maui’s main airport) goes by the call initials “OGG”, which has had me scratching my head for more than 15 years. It just doesn’t make sense? Honolulu airport goes by HNL, San Francisco is SFO, why in the world is Maui OGG?
Every time I fly in and out of Kahului airport I ask airport staff about the random three letters, and they always respond with a smile and a “you know what, we wonder the same thing.” My curiosity finally got the best of me on my last flight out of Maui. When I landed on the mainland, I decided to draft up an email to the aviation department of the government of Hawaii.
To my surprise, Marvin Moniz, District Airport Manager of the Kahului Airport, responded to me almost immediately, “I will email you some information on Monday. On a boat now and it’s too windy to be fishing, bummer.” I smiled when I got his response, because a) I was finally going to crack the OGG riddle, and b) I was reminded of the awesome aloha spirit and Maui-No-Ka-Oi attitude that all people on Maui share with one another. I didn’t expect a government official to reply so quickly!
Sure enough, a couple days later I was sent a file on the significance of Kahului’s OGG. I had goose bumps upon reading. So without any further build up, here it is:
“OGG” was given as the call tag for Kahului airport to honor local Hawaiian aviation legend Captain Bertram H. Hogg, who was one of the pioneering commercial pilots in the Hawaiian Islands. Hogg was a Kauai resident who flew 8 passenger Sikorski S-38 amphibious planes between the Hawaiian Islands. When he landed on the Big Island, outrigger canoes would paddle out to the plane to pick up the passengers. How cool is that!
Hogg was also the first pilot to fly a commercial flight after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Through his 41 year career, Hogg flew a total of 25,000 hours, most of it being with Hawaiian airlines. Maui honored the pilot by naming its airport after him.
And that my friend is the story of the naming of OGG! Much mahalo to Marvin Moniz for the information.