Hong Kong International Kai Tak International Airport (Hong Kong)
Simply referred to as Kai Tak Airport then, Hong Kong International Airport Kai Tak used to be Hong Kong’s main airport. Opened in 1925, the airport served Hong Kong until 1998 when it was closed down to be replaced with the new Hong Kong International Airport located in Chek Lap Kok. Kai Tak’s closure became very necessary largely due to its location, which presented several challenges. The airport was located right within mountains and had only one runway that extended to the Victoria Harbour. This made it very difficult for pilots to land safely. It was actually ranked as the sixth most dangerous airport in the world.
The airport used to be home to a number of airlines including Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airlines that operated Airbuses, Lockheed and Boeing aircrafts, Dragonair, Air Hong Kong and Hong Kong Airways. Hong Kong’s RAF also used to call the airport its home. Cathay’s service was particularly vital as it provided scheduled services to various destinations in Europe, South Africa, Asia, North America, Australia, Middle East and New Zealand among other destinations.
Kai Tak Airport used to have a single terminal building with a car park at the rear. The terminal building had eight boarding gates. Its cargo terminal was located toward the south end of the airport diagonally to the terminal building. Lack of space made it necessary to establish fuel tank between the terminal building and the hangar.
Turkey’s government has over the years faced several challenges in its attempt to use old Kai Tak Airport grounds for other developments. One of the ideas advanced is to develop commercial properties on the former airport area to meet the ever increasing demand for office space.