Guilin Liangjiang International Airport
|IATA: KWL – ICAO: ZGKL|
|Location||Guilin, Guangxi, China|
|Elevation AMSL||174 m / 571 ft|
|Guilin Liangjiang International Airport|
Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (IATA: KWL, ICAO: ZGKL) is the airport serving the city of Guilin in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. It is located in Liangjiang, about 28 km (17 mi) southwest of the city center.
In 2014, Guilin Liangjiang International Airport was the 33rd busiest airport in China with 5 875 327 people. Around 4 million passengers transit through Liangjiang International annually, traveling to one of the 48 domestic and international destinations served nonstop from Guilin.
During World War II, the airport was known as Kweilin Airfield and was used by the United States Army Air Forces Fourteenth Air Force as part of the China Defensive Campaign (1942–1945). Kweilin was the headquarters of the 23d Fighter Group, the "Flying Tigers" during late 1943 and through most of 1944 and also its command and control unit, the 68th Composite Wing. The unit flew P-40 Warhawk and later P-51 Mustang fighter bombers from the airport, attacking Japanese targets and supporting Chinese army units. In support of the combat units, Kweilin was also the home of the 8th Reconnaissance Group, which operated unarmed P-38 Lightning aircraft equipped with an array of mapping cameras to gather intelligence over Japanese-held areas. The Flying Tigers departed the base in late 1944, being replaced by elements of the Chinese-American Composite Wing (CACW), which flew B-25 Mitchell and P-51 Mustang fighters from the airport on combat missions until the end of the war in September 1945. The Americans closed their facilities after the war ended in September 1945.
In September 1991, the State Council of China and the Central Military Commission approved a 1.85 billion yuan project to transform Kweilin Airfield into a commercial airport. Construction began in July 1993, and the airport was opened to the public on 1 October 1996. It had replaced the Guilin Qifengling Airport.
Liangjiang International Airport now features a 2,800 meter-long runway, a 150,000 square meter large parking apron, 20 gate positions, and a 50,000 square meter large terminal building. The airport has also invested 20 million yuan into improving Liangjiang International's aesthetics and making the airport more environmentally-friendly. The airport has received several awards for their efforts.
Airlines and destinations
China Southern Airlines ticketing counters
- 2013年民航机场吞吐量排名 (in Chinese). Civil Aviation Administration of China. 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2013-03-29.
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4
- USAFHRA Document Search – Kweilin
- "China Southern Adds Guilin - Osaka Route from May 2015". Airline Route. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
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