FEASIBILITY studies are being carried out into opening a giant historic aircraft museum and aerospace school at Kai Tak airport when it closes after 1997. Proposals are being drawn up by the Hongkong Historic Aircraft Association with a group of senior managers from Cathay Pacific Airways and Hongkong Aircraft Engineering Co (HAECO). The museum would cover about 47,000 square metres and encompass two hangars currently housing HAECO's engineering works once they become redundant. The company is expected to move to the Chek Lap Kok airport in 1997. The site earmarked could be worth billions of dollars to Hongkong's future Special Administrative Region government if it were sold at auction for property redevelopment. However, it comprises just a small part of the total land that would be freed with the closure of Kai Tak. Kai Tak covers 230 hectares, with a further potential 320 hectares available through reclamation. The Government is looking at a whole string of possible uses for Kai Tak. Historic Aircraft Association chairman Edward Pryor and his partners hope to convince the Government that the potential economic and cultural benefits of their museum and aviation training school outweigh the value of selling the land. They argue that a ''Higher Institution for Aviation Technology'' would help establish Hongkong as a focal point for the aerospace industry in Asia. Singapore has gone to enormous lengths to promote its money-spinning aerospace industry, but has nothing that would compare with the aviation academy being proposed for Hongkong. Courses suggested range from training for pilots, cabin crew and ground crew to highly technical fields such as avionics, aircraft design and engineering. There is an enormous demand for such training in Asia, particularly in China where its rapidly growing aviation industry is being held back by a shortage of skilled staff. The museum would also have a teaching area for school children, covering several topics including how an aircraft works and the history of aviation. It was HAECO managing director David Turnbull and senior managers Stephen Lau and K.K. Cheung who first dreamt up the idea of the historic aircraft museum. They have been the main proponents of the museum plan, with the Government, Mr Pryor and Cathay Pacific customer services director Don Birch. The Hongkong Tourist Association has also backed the scheme. The group proposes to house the museum in what are currently HAECO hangars three and four, which together cover more than 18,000 sq m, and the surrounding apron area. The giant 13,860 sq m Hangar Four would remain, while smaller Hangar Three might be redeveloped. The basic construction and conversion cost has been estimated at $283 million. The cost of feasibility studies into areas such as financing and market research would cost a further $8 million, Mr Pryor said. It is hoped that the Government would donate the use of the land, while bodies such as the Royal Hongkong Jockey Club and grant-making trusts might be willing to help foot some of the other initial costs. Mr Pryor said: ''The amount of land we are looking for is very small in relation to the whole Kai Tak site, while the benefits of the economic and cultural activities we propose are potentially substantial.'' The museum and aerospace academy plan is one of the issues to be discussed when the Historic Aircraft Association holds its first annual meeting next Thursday. It was set up last year. Meanwhile, Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Co (GAMECO) has announced plans to spend more than US$1.5 million on upgrading its training facilities. To support its business expansion, GAMECO is hoping to train more than 1,000 new employees in the next four years, enhancing their leadership and managerial skills through intensive training programmes offered by Hongkong Outward Bound School. GAMECO training manager Ken Russell said: ''Training in management and human relations has been one of our main objectives during the past three years and is at the forefront of our goals for increasing efficiency in 1993.'' GAMECO is a US$26 million venture jointly owned by Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines, Lockheed Aircraft Services International of the United States and Hutchison China Trading of Hongkong.