For more information about TMT Hawaii, please visit https://www.maunakeaandtmt.org and https://www.maunakeaandtmt.org/get-the-facts
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Timeline

JUN
1
2003
Founding of TMT Observatory Corporation

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The nonprofit TMT Observatory Corporation was founded in June 2003 by its partners: the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA), the University of California (UC), and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The TMT project was born out of the merging of three earlier large-telescope projects: CELT, the California Extremely Large Telescope, which was a partnership between Caltech and UC; VLOT, the Very Large Optical Telescope, led by ACURA; and GSMT, the Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope, which was a partnership between the National Optical Astronomical Observatory (NOAO) and the Gemini Observatory. AURA participated in TMT discussions at the early phase.

APR
1
2005
Creation of the TMT Project Office

In April 2005, the TMT partners committed $17.5 million to the project office. Also that month, the TMT board appointed a project manager and began the formal design and development of the observatory, the telescope, and its instruments.

JAN
1
2008
Japan joins TMT

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In 2008, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) joined TMT as a participating institution.

MAR
1
2009
Completion of Design Development Phase (DDP)

In March 2009, TMT successfully completed its five-year Design Development Phase (DDP) with $77.1 million of funding provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy, and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. On April 1, 2009, TMT commenced its Early Construction Phase with the initial $30 million of a $200 million commitment by the Moore Foundation toward the further development and construction of the project. Matching gifts from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California bring the total to $300 million.

APR
1
2009
State of Hawaii Land Board Approves Comprehensive Management Plan for Maunakea

State of Hawaii Land Board Approves Comprehensive Management Plan for Maunakea

JUN
1
2009
Seven Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Meetings are held (Hawaii Island: 6/16, 6/17, 6/18, 6/22, 6/23, 6/24 and Oahu: 6/25)

Seven Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Meetings are held (Hawaii Island: 6/16, 6/17, 6/18, 6/22, 6/23, 6/24 and Oahu: 6/25)

JUL
1
2009
TMT Board of Directors Selects Maunakea as Preferred Site

TMT Board of Directors Selects Maunakea as Preferred Site

NOV
17
2009
China and India join TMT as observers

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In 2009, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese (NOAC) Academy of Sciences joined TMT as an observer. The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) joined as an observer in 2010.

MAY
1
2010
Maunakea Management Board Approves TMT Project

Maunakea Management Board Approves TMT Project State of Hawaii Governor Approves TMT Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

MAY
1
2010
Completion of the Environment Impact Statement in Hawaii

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In May 2010, TMT completed an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), after 14 community meetings, and it was signed by the Governor of Hawaii. The Cultural Impact Statement, as key part of the document, included consultations with Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners. No groups or individuals challenged the contents or process of this important and required document.

JUN
1
2010
University of Hawaii Board of Regents Approves TMT Project

University of Hawaii Board of Regents Approves TMT Project

SEP
1
2010
Maunakea Management Board Approves Conservation District Use Permit Application

Maunakea Management Board Approves Conservation District Use Permit Application State of Hawaii Land Board Accepts Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) Application

FEB
1
2011
TMT granted its Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP)

In February 2011, the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) for the TMT project after several very well attended public hearings.

AUG
1
2011
Five TMT CDUP Contested Case Hearings (public) are held (8/14, 8/15, 8/17, 8/18 and 8/25)

Five TMT CDUP Contested Case Hearings (public) are held (8/14, 8/15, 8/17, 8/18 and 8/25)

APR
1
2012
State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources issues CDUP (4/12)

State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources issues CDUP (4/12)

NOV
1
2012
Hearings Officer Paul Aoki issues a 124-page ruling concluding that TMT is consistent with the purpose of the Conservation District and should be granted its Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP)

Hearings Officer Paul Aoki issues a 124-page ruling concluding that TMT is consistent with the purpose of the Conservation District and should be granted its Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP)

FEB
12
2013
State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources hears oral arguments regarding the CDUP application (2/12)

State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources hears oral arguments regarding the CDUP application (2/12)

APR
1
2013
TMT obtains building permit

In April 2013, the Hawaiian Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) granted a permit to Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project to build and operate the next-generation observatory on Mauna Kea.

APR
12
2013
Judge Nakamura, Third Circuit Court, issues Final Judgment affirming State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources’ Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law

Judge Nakamura, Third Circuit Court, issues Final Judgment affirming State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources’ Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decision and Order Granting Conservation District Use Permit for the TMT at the Maunakea Science Reserve dated April 12, 2013 (5/5)

MAY
1
2014
TMT granted sub-lease on Mauna Kea

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In May 2014, the Kahu Ku Mauna Council, made up of local Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, approved the University of Hawaii granting a sublease to TMT to build on Mauna Kea. The University Of Hawaii Board Of Regents, after another public hearing, agreed.

MAY
6
2014
Formation of TMT Internation Observatory LLC (TIO)

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On May 6, 2014, the TMT International Observatory LLC (TIO) was formed with founding Members: The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) The National Institutes of Natural Sciences (Japan) The National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Science (China) The Regents of the University of California (UC) The goal of TIO is to design, develop, build and operate the Thirty Meter Telescope. Also in May 2014, the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA) and Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) joined as Associates and continued to be active in the TMT Project with in-kind contributions. The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) also joined as an Associate.

JUL
1
2014
After Three Public Hearings, the State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources votes to approve the sublease with the University of Hawaii

After Three Public Hearings, the State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources votes to approve the sublease with the University of Hawaii

OCT
7
2014
Site Blessing

On October 7, 2014, a ground blessing ceremony for the TMT site was conducted. TMT is in the construction phase on-site in Hawaii and around the world with numerous activities ongoing with the TMT International Observatory partners.

DEC
2
2014
India formally joins TMT

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On December 2, 2014, K VijayRaghavan, Secretary of India's Department of Science and Technology, signed the documents to change India's formal relationship from Associate to Member of the TMT International Observatory.

MAR
1
2015
The Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources issues TMT a Notice to Proceed

The Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources issues TMT a Notice to Proceed

MAR
1
2015
TMT receives Notice to Proceed

In March 2015, the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources issues TMT a Notice To Proceed regarding project construction on Maunakea.

MAY
5
2015
Temporary stand-down issued by Governor of Hawaii

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In May 2015, after imposing a temporary stand-down on TMT construction, Hawaii Governor David Ige releases a 10-point plan to help foster better stewardship of Maunakea. One part of the governor’s plan is to decommission older telescopes on the mountain to clear the way for newer telescopes like TMT.

AUG
1
2015
The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case against the State and University of Hawaii at Hilo related to the CDUP

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case against the State and University of Hawaii at Hilo related to the CDUP

DEC
1
2015
Hawaii Supreme Court revokes the construction permit

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In December 2015, the Hawaii Supreme Court revokes the state Conservation District Use Permit required for TMT construction, deciding that the state’s permitting process was flawed. The case is eventually remanded back to the State Board of Land and Natural Resources to re-do the permit application process.

DEC
2
2015
Hawaii Supreme Court invalidates the Conservation District Use Permit

On December 2, 2015, the Hawaii Supreme Court invalidates the Conservation District Use Permit issued by the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) to the University of Hawaii - Hilo to build TMT on Maunakea.

FEB
1
2016
The Third Circuit Court transfers the second Conservation District Use Permit

The Third Circuit Court transfers the second Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) contested case hearing to the State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources. The TMT International Observatory Board of Governors announces that while Hawaii remains their first choice for the location of TMT, a review of alternate sites will be carried out while the second CDUP contested case takes its course.

MAR
1
2016
Alternate site study begins

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In March 2016, TMT officials begin studying alternate sites for the Thirty-Meter Telescope in the event the project cannot be built in Hawaii in a timely fashion.

MAR
11
2016
La Palma selected as alternative site

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On October 31st, 2016, the TIO Board of Directors selected the ‘Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos’ (ORM), in La Palma, on the Canary Islands (Spain) as the alternate site for TMT.

OCT
20
2016
New contested case hearing begins in Hawaii

In October 20, 2016 The Contested Case hearing began in Hilo.

DEC
15
2016
Sublease vacated by Third Circuit Court

In December 15, 2016 Third Circuit Court Judge Nakamura ruled on an appeal filed by Kalani Flores to vacate the Board of Land and Natural Resource’s consent to the University of Hawaii’s sublease to the TMT International Observatory Board of Governors and require a separate contested case. The state is appealing the decision. How this will affect the timeline or schedule of our project is unclear, until we learn the outcome of the state's appeal or how the state land board will schedule an additional contested hearing on the matter.

MAR
2
2017
The Evidentiary Hearings portion of the second Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) Contested Case comes to a close after hearing 71 witnesses over 44 days.

The Evidentiary Hearings portion of the second Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) Contested Case comes to a close after hearing 71 witnesses over 44 days.

MAR
15
2017
The Hawaii State Supreme Court hears oral arguments related to the Consent to Sublease issue.

The Hawaii State Supreme Court hears oral arguments related to the Consent to Sublease issue.

MAR
29
2017
Hosting agreement reached between TMT and IAC

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On March 29, 2017 TIO and Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) signed a hosting agreement which defines how the alternative site will be available if Maunakea proves infeasible. The bilateral agreement governs the conditions for hosting TMT at Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) on La Palma, its future operation and eventual demolition, removal and restoration of the site. Among the terms of the 75-year agreement are the right to construct and operate, the use of the land, access to infrastructure and common services, and headquarters facilities in La Palma and Tenerife.

JUN
5
2017
The Hawaii Supreme Court accepts an appeal of a lower court

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The Hawaii Supreme Court accepts an appeal of a lower court ruling that vacated the Board of Land and Natural Resource’s consent to the University of Hawaii’s sublease to the TMT International Observatory. The case will now be transferred from the Intermediate Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court.

JUL
26
2017
State Hearings Officer and former Judge Riki May Amano releases a 305-page report recommending that a Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) be issued

State Hearings Officer and former Judge Riki May Amano releases a 305-page report recommending that a Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) be issued to the University of Hawaii by the Board of Land and Natural Resources to allow construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea in Hawaii.

SEP
28
2017
The State Land Board announces its decision to approve the Conservation District User Permit (CDUP) for TMT to be built on Maunakea.

The State Land Board announces its decision to approve the Conservation District User Permit (CDUP) for TMT to be built on Maunakea.

OCT
30
2017
TMT opponents challenge the new Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) by filing an appeal with the Hawaii State Supreme Court.

TMT opponents challenge the new Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) by filing an appeal with the Hawaii State Supreme Court.

APR
13
2018
The TMT International Observatory (TIO) Board of Governors defers a decision on whether to continue toward building the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii, or to consider the alternative in the Canary Islands

The TMT International Observatory (TIO) Board of Governors defers a decision on whether to continue toward building the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii, or to consider the alternative in the Canary Islands. A decision will be made on the planned location of the Thirty Meter Telescope as further progress is made in the legal and regulatory processes at both proposed sites.

JUN
21
2018
The Hawaii State Supreme court hears oral arguments related to the Conservation District Use Permit.

The Hawaii State Supreme court hears oral arguments related to the Conservation District Use Permit.

AUG
8
2018
The Hawaii Supreme Court issues its unanimous and favorable decision in the Consent to Sublease appeal

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The Hawaii Supreme Court issues its unanimous and favorable decision in the Consent to Sublease appeal reversing the decision of the lower court and finding that Kalani Flores was not entitled to a contested case hearing on BLNR’s Consent to the Sublease between TIO and the University. As a result, the sublease is valid.

OCT
30
2018
Hawaii Supreme Court Affirms TMT Permit

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The Hawaii Supreme Court, by majority decision, today issued its opinion affirming the Board of Land and Natural Resources' decision to issue a Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Maunakea.

JUN
20
2019
Notice to proceed issued by Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources

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The Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources issues a notice to proceed (NTP) to the University of Hawaii for the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea. The NTP is a formal communication indicating that all pre-construction conditions and mitigation measures specifically required as a condition of the Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) have been met. With the NTP, TMT can proceed with construction.