50 years ago
HONGKONG (May 13): IT was officially announced yesterday that Deep Bay had been chosen for the location of a modern civil airport that will replace Kai Tak.
The necessity of building an airport capable of handling the growing volume of air traffic into and out of Hongkong has been stressed both here and in Parliament.
The official statement points out that new and better villages will have to be constructed to re-house people displaced from the site, and this alone will entail considerable delay in commencing actual building operations. The statement reads: It has been common knowledge for many years that Hongkong's present airfield at Kai Tak could not be brought up to the standards required by modern civil aviation.
When the great trunk services of Imperial Airways and Pan-American Airways were first extended to the Colony in 1936, newspaper reports foretold that Hongkong, already one of the world's greatest sea-ports, would become also a great centre of air communications.
This has come to pass; and the figures of aircraft using the port and of passengers and freight entering and leaving, show that Hongkong is already one of Asia's great crossroads of the air as well as of the sea. Kai Tak is unsatisfactory and cannot be made satisfactory for modern large aircraft weighing many tons. Unless a new airfield can be found which is worthy of Hongkong's position and shall satisfy the rigid standards now required by international agreement, these large aircraft will have to pass Hongkong by.
Only suitable place After anxious and careful enquiry the Government has been advised that the only site on which a modern civil airport can be constructed is on the shores of Deep Bay north of the village of Nam She Wat. This area indeed was picked long ago as the site of a civil airport, but it will be remembered that under the Military Administration an attempt was made to find a site elsewhere which could be adapted to both military and civil needs, and an area south of Ping Shan was chosen for this purpose, but was found to be unsuitable for the most modern aircraft.
A decision was later taken that it was not practicable to build an airport to serve both civil and military aircraft.
Advertisement from SCMP, May 1949