Hawaii Seaglider Flies Forward with Major Partners and State Support

Hawaii Seaglider Next Stop Abu Dhabi: Expanding Horizons Amid Controversy

Hawaii’s Seaglider Initiative (HSI), an inter-island travel innovation taking form, is now making global headlines as REGENT Seaglider announced its latest foray, this time into Abu Dhabi. This strategic move is another major expansion for the Seaglider, which seeks to scale and elevate the technology to a global platform. To date, Seaglider’s book has amassed over $9 billion in orders. However, the huge plans comes amidst ongoing debates around safety, environmental impact, and the technology’s readiness.

Hawaii Seaglider Flies Forward with Major Partners and State Support

Regent Seaglider: bridging Hawaiian Islands, expanding globally.

Coming to Hawaii with the support of key airline partners including Southwest Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and others, the HSI aims to revolutionize the way Hawaii travels. It promises to offer a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to our traditional interisland air travel. Seagliders are designed to operate just above the water’s surface, harnessing both boat and aircraft technologies.

The technology developed by REGENT promises to reduce overall travel time but also align with Hawaii’s ambitious environmental goals. With an eye on deploying these 100-seat electric vessels by the end of this decade, the initiative had already gained substantial local attention, plus industry and governmental backing.

From Hawaii’s ocean to international shores.

A recent press release from Seaglider (attached below) confirmed the extension of their plans to Abu Dhabi, marking a big step forward in the project’s global journey, and seemingly in the likelihood of its achieving its goals here in Hawaii and elsewhere. This expansion speaks to the versatile uses for Seaglider technology in different maritime environments and reflects the growing demand in Hawaii and internationally for sustainable transportation solutions.

In Hawaii, Seaglider concerns linger amidst enthusiasm.

Despite much excitement surrounding Seaglider, critical voices in comments and elsewhere have highlighted unresolved issues related to Hawaii ocean operations. Concerns persist about the safety of these vessels in varying ocean conditions, their impact on marine wildlife including humpback whales, and the adequacy and safety of the system. With whales and other marine life a vital part of Hawaii’s ecosystem, questions about potential impacts from low-flying Seagliders are particularly concerning.

Moreover, skeptics have commented regarding the readiness of the systems, citing the lack of mature battery technology and the absence of sufficient testing in real-world turbulent ocean waters such as exist here in Hawaii. Critics also continue to point to Hawaii’s reliance on fossil fuels for the electricity generation needed for Seaglider, which could undermine the true zero-emissions goal of the project.

Seaglider’s road ahead in Hawaii.

As Seaglider prepares for its debut, the initiative finds itself at a crossroads. The announcement of Abu Dhabi certainly represents a great next step in showcasing this technology on a global stage, as well as in Hawaii. But there is still a need for a cautious approach to address the multiple important concerns that remain.

With potential to dramatically change the landscape of vital Hawaii interisland and now international travel, the Hawaii Seaglider Initiative’s global foray is unquestionably a development we will be continuing to watch.

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12 thoughts on “Hawaii Seaglider Next Stop Abu Dhabi: Expanding Horizons Amid Controversy”

  1. “a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to our traditional travel”

    That sounds a lot like the promises that led to the HART rail system on Oahu. What could possible go wrong?

  2. I have an idea…. Build a nuclear power plant to generate electricity to charge the batteries to power the gliders to haul transport the people!!!! Seems like a great idea!!!

  3. This project will be subjected to the same standards and issues that stopped the Hawaii Stupidferry. It is ignoring the environmental impact studies that need to be done; it underestimates the problems of utilizing Maui’s Kahalui harbor as a landing place; it makes no mention of flight prices or whether it is cost-effective.
    Because it will be using state lands, an EIS will be required and it takes many years to get one approved. No mention has been made of where these planes will land or take off. Are there nearby parking lots? transportation options?
    The Superferry never made financial sense. Only operating w/ sharply discounted prices. Where are the marketing studies that would justify the costs of these electric planes?

  4. How exactly would Seaglider operate where sheltered harbors either don’t exist or are not be large enough for landings and takeoffs? That notwithstanding, how do they plan to avoid collisions with boats, paddlers, etc., not to mention marine life?

  5. Dear Rob and Jeff, Your coverage of Seaglider piqued my curiosity because Regent is based nearby. The company has received tax breaks of $ 13 million in 2022 from the state of Rhode Island. My research also shows that the Navy and the Naval War College based in Newport, RI are looking to invest.* If the military is interested, investors are excited. My only question is; If aircrafts/gliders must be light and strong, how do you overcome the weight of the batteries?
    Warm regards, Hugh B
    * Providence Journal and Boston Globe

  6. Good morning BOH gentlemen. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t fossil fuels also used to generate electricity needed for electric vehicles. IMO there seems to be a conflict.

  7. Someone wake me up when they actually get this thing in the air. Until then it’s just a bunch of hot air with a remarkable facility for raising funds.

    1. Hi Jeff.

      You’ve got it – we’ll wake you. Yes that amount of sales booked is indeed amazing.


      1. Please, please, please don’t do this. Haven’t we screwed up the Hawaii islands enough. This is not needed, except as a confidence to the rich at the expense of the island.


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