Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (former)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
Guǎngzhōu Báiyún Guójì Jīchǎng
|Airport type||Public, Defunct|
|Operator||Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Co. Ltd.|
|Elevation AMSL||m / 2 ft|
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport or Pai Yuen Airport was the main airport in Guangzhou, People's Republic of China, until August 5, 2004, when it was replaced by the identically named Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, some 25 kilometers to the north. The airport was opened in 1932. "Baiyun" means "white clouds" in Chinese. The airport got this name as it was located beside the Baiyun Mountain.
Aerial views of the old airport now shows re-development of the airport is underway. Roads now criss-cross across the old runways and the terminal complex is surrounded by new residential buildings and other developments. Several aircraft are now located at the former airports taxiways.
The current Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is located 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of the former airport site.
The old airport opened in 1932. Due to growth of Guangzhou, the airport couldn't be expanded to meet passengers needs as buildings surrounded the airport. There were also complaints with noise from aircraft. Plans were underway to replace the airport. On August 5, 2004, the new Baiyun airport opened and the old airport was closed. The land that the old airport occupies is being redeveloped.
Plans for the site of the old airport include a large shopping mall. The former terminal of the airport is being converted into a large shopping mall. Other plans are converting the northern portion of the former airport into a provincial-and city-level functional area integrating conference services. The southern portion will be converted into Guangzhou's secondary center integrating retail business, Cultural, sports, business, and commercial activities.
Incidents and accidents
- On December 24, 1982, CAAC flight 202, a Soviet-built Ilyushin 18, caught fire on approach to Baiyun from Changsha. The Major Loss Records of Airclaims indicates that the cause of the fire was a "carelessly discarded" cigarette. The airplane was able to land normally. In the process of taxiing, the crew opened cabin doors at the front and rear of the plane, where passengers had been instructed to move. When the aircraft stopped, the crew deployed the ladder at the front door. After the 11th passenger exited, the plane filled with heavy smoke. Many passengers still on board jumped out of the back door, where no landing ladder was deployed. From the time the cabin doors were opened, about 2 minutes passed before the airplane was engulfed in flames. The intense fire blazed for over 45 minutes before firefighters could extinguish it. Of the 69 people on board (58 passengers and 11 crew), 25 died in the fire - all passengers. Notable among the deaths was Dr. Conrad P. Heins, Jr., renowned civil engineer on the faculty of the University of Maryland.
- On October 2, 1990, Xiamen Airlines Flight 8301 from Xiamen to Guangzhou, a Boeing 737-247 jetliner, hijacked shortly after it took off from Xiamen, landed at the airport, sideswiped a China Southwest Airlines Boeing 707, and crashed into a China Southern Airlines Boeing 757, caused a total of 128 fatalities. The three other aircraft in the apron were destroyed. See Guangzhou Baiyun aircraft collision.
- On June 6, 1994, China Northwest Airlines Flight 2303 broke up in mid-air and crashed near Xian, en route to Guangzhou from Xian. A maintenance error was responsible. All 160 people on board died.