Ex-Kai Tak Airport’s famous runway opened on 12 September 1958
Former Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport’s new 13/31 runway opened on 12 September 1958.
Experienced pilots took the risk to take off and land on this runway everyday up till 1998 when they got a safer, longer and newer runway at the new Hong Kong International Airport.
Frank retrospects the history of the famous runway in this post.
Photo for Kai Tak Airport runway, Photo taken just after its closure in 1998.
By christian hanuise – Gallery page <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external free” href=”https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/10362″>https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/10362</a>
Photo <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external free” href=”https://cdn.jetphotos.com/full/2/65507_1039973794.jpg”>https://cdn.jetphotos.com/full/2/65507_1039973794.jpg</a>, GFDL 1.2, Link
Now the tip of the old runway is the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.
Frank the tour guide is eager to serve more cruise passengers by his private car shore excursion service at Kai Tak Cruise port.
From dangerous runway to great cruise terminal
The Kai Tak Airport was built in 1925.
It was small and its short 13/31 runway was used by civilian airlines and British Air Force.
During WWII, Japanese armed force did demolish the wall of Kowloon Walled City nearby to get the bricks as building materials to lengthen the runway.
In the early 1950s, Hong Kong Colonial Government decided to expand Kai Tak Airport.
The main project was to lengthen the runway again.
In the past, the short 13/31 runway crossed over the main road.
When the flights took off, airport staff needed to stop the traffic.
This limited the airport’s efficiency and affected people’s daily life.
Therefore government reclaimed the land to build a longer runway.
The runway opened on 12 September 1958.
Kai Tak Airport runway in 1971.
By <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”https://www.flickr.com/people/98714538@N00″>Barbara Ann Spengler</a> from Arizona (& Florida) – <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sillysocks/7504697144/”>Hong Kong – Old Purchased Slide of a hair-raising place to fly in and out of – 24 June 1971</a>, CC BY 2.0, Link
Hong Kong used this risky 13/31 runway, which was surrounded by buildings and hills, up till 1998 when Hong Kong’s new airport opened.
The old runway enjoyed sunbathing for more than 10 years.
In 2013, the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal opened at the tip of the old runway.
It will continue to serve the cruise passengers, not flight passengers, in the near future.
Frank the tour guide hopes he can offer more private car shore excursion to cruisers at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal
Frank the tour guide is too young so he just used the Kai Tak runway one time in 1997 to go to Beijing.
Frank was just a student and he had no chance to receive flight passengers at Kai Tak Airport’s arrivals hall.
Luckily, Frank the tour guide could pick up cruisers from Celebrity Millennium, which was the first cruise to berth at the brand new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in 2013.
He had served a lot of cruisers at Kai Tak.
Frank picked us up at the cruise terminal and gave us an excellent tour of Hong Kong...and let us off at the air terminal. BERNARD R.
Frank did a fantastic job. He picked us up from the cruise ship at the designated time and covered all the things we wanted to see.
A much more enjoyable way to get acquainted with Hong Kong than on a big bus tour from the cruise ship. Thanks Frank! DENNIS R.
We were on the cruise, and Frank ensured we'd get back to the ship with time to spare. Loved it! Thanks so much! JOHN STAYNER
Frank the tour guide hopes he can offer more private car shore excursions to the cruise passengers from Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in the future.