Kaohsiung International Airport
|Kaohsiung International Airport
(Kaohsiung Siaogang Airport)
Gāoxióng Guójì Hángkōngzhàn
Gāoxióng Xiǎogǎng Jīchǎng
|Operator||Civil Aeronautics Administration|
|Location||Siaogang, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (ROC)|
|Elevation AMSL||9 m / 30 ft|
Source: Civil Aeronautics Administration
Kaohsiung International Airport (Chinese: 高雄國際航空站; pinyin: Gāoxióng guójì hángkōngzhàn; commonly 高雄國際機場; Gāoxióng guójì jīchǎng) (IATA: KHH, ICAO: RCKH), also known as Kaohsiung Siaogang Airport (高雄小港機場; Gāoxióng xiǎogǎng jīchǎng) for the Siaogang District where it is located, is a medium-sized commercial airport in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan (ROC). Kaohsiung International is the second busiest Taiwanese airport, after Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, in passenger movement.
Originally built as an Imperial Japanese Army Air Squadron base in 1942 during the Japanese rule era of Taiwan, Kaohsiung Airport retained its military purpose when the Republic of China government first took control of Taiwan in 1945. Due to the need for civil transportation in southern Taiwan, it was demilitarised and converted into a domestic civil airport in 1965, and further upgraded to an international airport in 1969, with regular international flights starting in 1972.
During the 1970s and 1980s, direct international flights were rare at the airport, with Hong Kong and Tokyo being the only two destinations. Since the early 1990s, dedicated connection flights to Chiang Kai-shek International Airport (now Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport) were inaugurated. This brought southern Taiwan travelers much convenience, as they can transit via the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport where there was a higher availability of international flights. This reduced the inconvenience that travelers in southern Taiwan needed to travel to Taoyuan in the north before flying south. These contributed to a steady growth in airport passenger and flight movements. A new terminal dedicated to international flights was opened in 1997.
In summer 1998, EVA Air opened a direct flight between Kaohsiung and Los Angeles, but it was discontinued only three months later due to low ridership. Northwest Airlines served Siaogang Airport, operating from Kansai Airport from 1999 to 2001, and Narita Airport from 2002 to 2003. These two routes were separately suspended due to the low load caused by the September 11 attacks and SARS outbreak.
After Taiwan High Speed Rail, the high speed rail line that runs between Taipei and Kaohsiung along Taiwan's western plains, began operation in January 2007, Kaohsiung Airport suffered large reduction in passenger and flight movements. The convenience of Taiwan High Speed Rail and record-high costs of jet fuel were eating up most load factors to Taipei Songshan Airport and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, caused flights between cities on Taiwan's western plains to cease operation, with the last domestic flight between Taipei-Songshan and Kaohsiung ceased operation on 31 August 2012. The dedicated international connecting flight between Kaohsiung and Taoyuan International Airport stopped on 1 July 2017, after thirty-plus years of operation.
Kaohsiung International Airport has two terminals – domestic and international. They are connected by a corridor way.
The domestic terminal was built in 1965 when the facility was first opened as a civilian airport. Through the years, it has undergone small expansions and improvements, but jet bridges have never been added. (The domestic terminal primarily serves smaller planes that do not require jet bridges.) The current domestic terminal building also served international flights before the opening of the new international terminal in 1997.
The international terminal opened in 1997 and all gates have jet bridges. It serves all international flights and connecting flights to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. While taking a connecting flight to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, passengers proceed through immigration in Kaohsiung International Airport and do not need to repeat the procedure in Taoyuan, avoiding congestion in Taoyuan and saving time between flights. The floor area for the international terminal is three times more than that of the domestic one.
Airlines and destinations
Several airlines such as China Airlines and Uni Air operate charter flights from Kaohsiung to many Japanese cities including Asahikawa, Hakodate, Sapporo, Hanamaki, Obihiro, Nagasaki and Kumamoto, mostly during long vacations.
|Operations and Statistics |
|Rank||Airport||Category||Passengers||% Change 2017 / 16||Carriers|
|1||Hong Kong||International||1,503,062||0.86%||China Airlines, Cathay Dragon|
|2||Magong||Domestic||794,945||0.19%||Far Eastern Air Transport, Uni Air|
|3||Tokyo–Narita||International||527,697||6.76%||China Airlines, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Tigerair Taiwan, Vanilla Air|
|4||Osaka–Kansai||International||507,145||6.57%||China Airlines, EVA Air, Peach, Scoot|
|5||Kinmen||Domestic||421,027||1.36%||Far Eastern Air Transport, Uni Air|
|6||Macau||International||374,520||8.81%||Air Macau, EVA Air, Tigerair Taiwan|
|7||Shanghai–Pudong||International||294,863||2.02%||China Airlines, EVA Air, Juneyao Airlines, Spring Airlines|
|8||Seoul–Incheon||International||236,113||7.43%||China Airlines, EVA Air, Jeju Air, Mandarin Airlines, T'way Air|
|9||Ho Chi Minh City||International||219,382||45.13%||Mandarin Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air|
Accidents and incidents
- On 15 February 1969, a Douglas C-47B B-241 of Far Eastern Air Transport was damaged beyond economic repair in an accident at Kaohsiung International Airport.
- On 27 June 1989, a Cessna 404 Titan of Formosa Airlines on its way to Wang-an, Penghu crashed into nearby Cianjhen District streets shortly after takeoff. All 12 people on board were killed; there were no ground casualties.
- On 23 July 2014, TransAsia Airways Flight 222 took off from Kaohsiung International Airport bound for Magong Airport. The ATR 72-500 crashed into buildings during a second attempt to land in bad weather. Of the 58 people on board, only 10 survived. 5 people on the ground were injured and the crash caused a fire involving two homes.
- Subway/Train: Kaohsiung MRT red line's Kaohsiung International Airport Station has outlets in the international and domestic terminals. Passengers can use the Kaohsiung MRT Red Line to access Taiwan Railway at Kaohsiung Station and Taiwan High Speed Rail at Zuoying Station.
- Bus: Several city bus lines serve the airport. Long-distance buses to Fangliao and Kenting National Park are available.
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- 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Peach plans Okinawa – Kaohsiung launch in late-April 2018".
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- 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Xiamen Airlines adds Quanzhou – Kaohsiung from Feb 2018".
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Media related to Kaohsiung International Airport at Wikimedia Commons