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Kai tak airport

The meaning of «kai tak airport»

Kai Tak Airport (IATA: HKG, ICAO: VHHH) was the international airport of Hong Kong from 1925 until 1998 (1997 as British Hong Kong). Officially known as Hong Kong International Airport from 1954 to 6 July 1998, it is often referred to as Hong Kong International Airport, Kai Tak,[1] or simply Kai Tak and Kai Tak International Airport, to distinguish it from its successor, which may be referred to as Chek Lap Kok International Airport, built on reclaimed and levelled land around the islands of Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau, 30 kilometres (19 mi) to the west.[2]

Because of the geography of the area positioning the airport with water on three sides of the runway, with Kowloon City's residential apartment complexes and 2000+ft mountains to the north-east of the airport, aircraft could not fly over the mountains and quickly drop in for a final. Instead, aircraft had to fly above Victoria Harbour and Kowloon City, passing north of Mong Kok's Bishop Hill. After passing Bishop Hill, pilots would see Checkerboard Hill with a large red and white checkerboard pattern. Once the pattern was sighted and identified, aircraft made a low-altitude (sub-600 ft) 47° right-hand turn, ending with a short final and touchdown. For pilots, this airport was technically demanding, as the approach could not be flown by aircraft instruments, but rather visually because of the right-hand turn required.[3] The History Channel program Most Extreme Airports ranked it as the 6th most dangerous airport in the world.[4]

The airport was home to Hong Kong's international carrier Cathay Pacific, as well as regional carrier Dragonair (now known as Cathay Dragon), freight airline Air Hong Kong and Hong Kong Airways. The airport was also home to the former RAF Kai Tak.

Kai Tak was located on the east side of Kowloon Bay in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The area is surrounded by rugged mountains. Less than 4 km (2.5 mi) to the north and northeast of the former runway 13 threshold is a range of hills reaching an elevation of 2,000 ft (610 m). To the east of the former 31 threshold, the hills are less than 3 km (1.9 mi) away. Immediately to the south of the airport is Victoria Harbour, and farther south is Hong Kong Island with hills up to 2,100 ft (640 m).

When Kai Tak closed, there was only one runway in use, numbered 13/31 and oriented southeast–northwest (134/314 degrees true, 136/316 degrees magnetic). The runway was made by reclaiming land from the harbour and was extended several times after its initial construction. The runway was 3,390 m (11,120 ft) long when the airport closed, and 2,529 m (8,297 ft) when it was opened. This runway opened in 1958 and operated until the closure of the airport. Beforehand, in the period of 1945-1955[citation needed] the airport used a different 13/31 alongside a crossing 07/25. These runways were 4,756 by 231 ft (1,450 by 70 m) and 5,420 by 201 ft (1,652 by 61 m).[5]

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