Kai Tak Memories

We’ve been thinking a lot about Hong Kong lately. Maybe it’s a good thing they don’t make airports like they used to, but Hong Kong’s Kai Tak, which had a 47-degree right turn at an altitude of about 1000 ft. built into the VFR-only approach for runway 13, certainly produced breathtaking approaches just above the houses and shops of Kowloon.

Kai Tak was designed in the era of Biplanes, updated in the era of the Constellation and DC-6, and expanded and modernized several times after that until passenger and cargo volume dictated wide-body jets almost exclusively. As Hong Kong grew, Kai Tak could not grow with it. After serving Hong Kong for more than 70 years, Kai Tak closed in 1998 and was replaced by the modern, efficient Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok. Like Kai Tak before it, HKIA is the busiest cargo airport in the world and a destination for more than forty dedicated cargo airlines of all sizes. The approach may not be as dramatic, but the traffic still is.

A few of months ago, we brought you a video about HACTL’s mammoth SuperTerminal 1 at HKIA, one of the many civil engineering wonders of the new airport. Click here to view it.

Above video produced by AirBoyd.

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One Comment

  1. Wally Sanson says:

    I was an air traffic controller at Kai take for some 25 years, 1967 to 1992. How I still remember those days, the work and the people I worked with

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