Shek Kong Airfield
- "RAF Sek Kong" and "Sek Kong Airbase" redirect here.
|Shek Kong Airfield
Runway of Shek Kong Airfield
Royal Air Force (1938–1997)
Royal Air Force (1938–1997)
|Elevation AMSL||50 ft / 15 m|
|Shek Kong Airfield|
The station (airbase) houses units of People's Liberation Army Air Force as well as being open for civilian use during weekends.
The closest MTR station is Kam Sheung Road.
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Before the British handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the airfield ( airbase) was used by the British Forces Overseas Hong Kong, and was then a Royal Air Force station known as RAF Station Sek Kong. Construction of the airbase started in 1938, and was completed only in 1950 due to the delay caused by Japanese occupation during World War II.
It is used by the People's Liberation Army during the week but, during weekends, the general public are allowed to use the airport for operation of private airplanes and to conduct private flight training.
At RAF Station Sek Kong the RAF operated a small and limited force from 1950 to 1996, but they were temporary assignments from the UK. The Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force was the only permanent air force unit in Hong Kong.
A partial list of RAF squadrons stations before 1997:
- No. 80 Squadron RAF: 3 January – 1 February 1950, 7 March – 28 April 1950
- No. 28 Squadron RAF: 1 May – 7 October 1950, 28 March 1951 – 15 August 1955, 5 December 1955 – 14 June 1957, 17 May 1978 – 1 November 1996
- Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force 1979–1993
A list of RAF aircraft stationed at Sek Kong:
|de Havilland Hornet||fighter||1951–1955||No. 80 RAF|
|Westland Wessex||helicopter||1978–1996||No. 28 RAF|
|de Havilland Vampire||fighter||1951–1954|
|Supermarine Spitfire Mk.24||fighter||1949–1951||No. 80 RAF|
The British Army also operated a squadron of helicopters in Sek Kong from 1970 until 1993, performing observation/reconnaissance and troop-lifting roles on the Hong Kong-Chinese border and supporting the army on exercises. It was heavily involved in stemming the flood of illegal-immigrants from China. No. 660 Squadron AAC operated until the end of 1993. The squadron, 50 years old at the time, was believed to be the last overseas unit using Westland Scout helicopters.
|Bedford||RL tipper truck||1980s–1990s|
|Gurkha Transport Regiment||Tank transporters||1980s–1990s|
Refugee camp 1989–1993
From 1989, the base was also a refugee centre for Vietnamese boat people arriving in Hong Kong. At the peak in 1992, the centre hosted 9000 refugees. During the time as a refugee centre, half the runway was closed and used for temporary housing (mainly tents). As a result, only rotary aircraft operated from the base. The refugee centre closed in 1993 and the runway was restored for use by fixed wing aircraft.
PLAAF base 1997–present
The PLAAF has had a small presence in Hong Kong since 1997. There is one PLA unit stationed in Sek Kong:
|HAMC Harbin Z-9B||Utility helicopters||12||1997–present|
The PLA ground and naval forces also use Sek Kong, mainly for training and Opening Day use.
With the PLAAF operating helicopters, the runway is mostly used for civilian fixed wing aircraft. There are four "H" marked along the runway for the Z-9 to land and avoided the need to create helipads at the base.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20080410105343/http://sunzi1.lib.hku.hk/newspaper/view/02_09.15/129081.pdf South China Morning Post: March to show anger at Viet Policy
- Getty Images: Shek Kong Camp
- High-flyers have licence to thrill
- 660 Squadron named as first unit to disband
- 660 Squadron
- Craftsmen of the Army, pp331-332
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