Hangzhou Jianqiao Airport
|Hangzhou Jianqiao Airport
|Airport type||Military/former public|
|Serves||Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China|
|Location||Jianqiao, Jianggan District|
Hangzhou Jianqiao Airport (Chinese: 杭州笕桥机场) or Hangzhou Air Base is a People's Liberation Army Air Force Base and a former civil airport serving Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province, China. It is located in the town of Jianqiao (Chinese: 笕桥) in Jianggan District, about 7 miles northeast of the city center. Jianqiao Airport served as Hangzhou's main airport until December 29, 2000, when all flights were transferred to the newly built Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport.
Jianqiao was developed into an airfield and flight training institute in 1922 under support and directives of the Anhui clique warlord Lu Yongxiang and World War I veteran ace fighter pilot Zhu Binhou, with a squadron of aircraft that included Breguet 14s. Jianqiao air force base was then consolidated in 1931 in wake of the Mukden Incident by the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China , and was a location of major air battles between the Chinese air force and the Imperial Japanese air forces during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45); battles scenes of Jianqiao which were re-enacted in a motion-picture patriotic war drama Heroes of the Eastern Skies (筧橋英烈傳/笕桥英烈传, Jiànqiáo Yīngliè Zhuàn). In 1956 it was converted to a public airport and civil flights started on January 1, 1957. The airport was expanded in 1971 in preparation for the official visit of President Richard Nixon of the United States. In 1990 the runway was again lengthened and widened to 3,200 meters long and 50 meters wide. The airport handled 2,167,400 passengers in 1999, and served 46 routes in 2000 before all flights were transferred to the newly built Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport.