Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Hawaii By Air
Hawaii By Air

"Crossroads of the Pacific"

Air travel transformed Hawaii. It made the islands' geographic isolation irrelevant and tourism the foundation of the state's economy. It spurred growth and development throughout the islands. It helped shape Hawaii into the Pacific crossroads of commerce and culture it is today.

All these changes have had costs and consequences–for the islands themselves, their natural inhabitants, and the people who call them home. To some people, Hawaii now seems like a paradise lost. To others it will always remain "the loveliest fleet of islands," the Paradise of the Pacific.