Hong Kong Snapshot (113) Kai Tak Airport, the world’s most dangerous airport 香港隨拍(113) 啟德機場,世界最危險機場

none If you have come to HK, you may feel that the HK airport is so big and beautiful. It’s because the HK airport is one of the best and biggest airport in the world. But HK airport is only 21 years old. 21 years ago, we had the Kai Tak Airport and it was one of the most dangerous airports in the world. 來過香港的朋友,下飛機時都應該覺得香港機場很大,很漂亮,因為它是世界其中一個最大及最佳機場。不過香港國際機場其實只營運了21年,21年前,香港有一個啟德機場,它是世界十大最危險機場之一。
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Today, I took the ferry from Kowloon to HK Island and passed by the runway of the old Kai Tak Airport. Part of the runway is now the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. In the future the runway will become an Intergrated district of residential, sports, commercial and entertainment. But now it’s still a construction site.

今天,我坐船從九龍到香港島的時候,就途經了啟德機場的舊跑道。今天的啟德機場是一個郵輪碼頭,未來將會成為成為集住宅娛樂體育商業於一身的綜合城,不過,它現在仍是一塊爛地。
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Kai Tak Airport was built in 1925, which was the first airport of HK as well the only civil airport in HK. In the 1990s, Kai Tak Airport of the world’s 1st and 3rd busiest airport in the world by cargo traffic and passenger traffic respectively. It’s a very surprising record for Kai Tak, due to the size of the airport, and it’s only one runway.

啟德機場落成於1925年,是香港第一個機場,也是香港在回歸前的唯一一個民航機場,在1990年代,啟德機場可是全球貨運量第一的機場,也是全球客運量第三的機場,這個紀錄其實並不特別,但當這個紀錄放到啟德機場就變得很特別,因為啟德機場面積很小,只有現在香港國際機場的四分之一,而且它只有一條跑道。
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photo from Wikipedia

One runway meaning there were 36 flights using the runway per minute. And Kai Tak Airport was very closed to urban districts, with less than 10km. You can imagine how serious when accident happens. At that moment, most the of buildings in Kowloon were limited with height. In Kowloon City, the closed district to Kai Tak Airport, you can easily saw a big plane on the sky.

一條跑道意味著啟德機場跑道每分鐘平均有36班次升降,加上啟德機場極近民居,距最近的山也只有5公里,大家可以想像多有意外發生時,後果會是多麼嚴重。為此,當年九龍一帶的樓宇都有高度限制,而在離啟德機場最近的九龍城,你可以看到很大的一只飛機飛過,是當年的奇觀。
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photo from wikipedia

Because of it, the New HK Airport started construction in 1992 and operating in 1998. Kai Tak Airport officially finished its mission. The HK Government planned to reconstruct the old airport by reclamation. But due to several disputes, the reconstruction project was finalised in 2007 (9 years afterward). And the runway is now still a construction site ( 12 years already!)

正因如此,香港在1992開始興建新機場,1998年落成,啟德機場正式完成它的任務。本來政府打算把啟德機場跑道填海造地,但因一大輪的爭議,終於在2007年落實重建計劃,花了差不多十年時間,而在12年後的今天,啟德跑道仍有大半土地是地盤。
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photo from wikipedia

In the past, Tsing Ma Bridge, the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge, took 6 years to finish construction. The HK Airport took 7 years to finish. And now, the Kai Tak New City is still not finished after 12 years. And also the Lok Ma Chau Loop, which is accessible from HK after returning to China, is now still in proposal process after 22 years. I am wondering what the HK government is doing.

回想當年全球最長行車鐵路雙用橋青馬大橋只用了6年完工,香港國際機場只用了7年完工,啟德城由動工到現在已12年仍是地盤,還有那個自回歸後納入香港的河套區土地,至今22年卻仍未開始發展,面對特區政府的這個速度,我也是醉了。