Midway Atoll (aka Midway Island or Midway Islands) is an atoll located in the North Pacific Ocean and near Hawaii (flying distance 2268 km / 1409 mi). The island covers a total area approx 6 km2 (2,5 mi2) and population under 100 (including staff of USFWS / US Fish and Wildlife Service and contract workers).
Midway Island is roughly equidistant between Asia and North America. This is an unincorporated US territory and the only Hawaiian island not part of Hawaii State (USA). Unlike the other Hawaiian islands, Midway follows Samoa Time (1 hour behind Hawaii time).
Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 590,992 acres (2392 km 2 / 923 mi2) of land and water area, and is administered by USFWS.
Until 1993, on the island was the Naval Air Facility Midway. During the Battle of Midway (June 4-6, 1942), the US Navy defeated Japanese battleships marking a turning point in WW2 (1939-1945).
Currently, the atoll can be visited only for business reasons (by contractors, volunteers, permanent and temporary staff). Midway Island's tourism program was suspended in 2012 due to budget cutbacks. Cruise tours were themed on the island's military history and ecology. The economy was derived from tourist fees and US government funding. Nearly all supplies to the island are delivered by planes or ships. The atoll has its own hydroponic greenhouse and garden producing fresh fruits and vegetables.
Midway Island is a critical breeding habitat for a total of 17 seabird species. Several native species rely on the atoll, which is home to 70% of world's Laysan albatross, and nearly 40% of the world's black-footed albatross populations.
Midway Island USA cruise terminal
The usual method to reach Sand Island (the only populated island of Midway Atoll) is on chartered aircraft landing at Henderson Field.
Henderson Field also serves as an emergency runway for transpacific flights.