Hilo International Airport, known as General Lyman Field until 1989, is located about two miles east of Hilo, on the eastern shore of the Big Island. Its three-letter IATA airport code is ITO.

There is no official explanation as to why, but the Hawaii State Department of Transportation lays out a couple of theories.

  • The airport was designated ITO after one of the first Hawaiian Airlines Hilo Airport station managers by the name of “Mr. Ito”.
  • The airport was designated ITO because both ILO (Mandurriao Airport in Iloilo,Philippines) and HIL (Shillavo Airport in Ethiopia) were already taken. ITO sounded a lot like Hilo.
  • Hilo was designated ITO because in the first half of the twentieth century, residents of the Big Island of Hawaii referred to the City of Hilo as Hilo Town, thus HIlo TOwn being the closest city or town to the airport.

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