As we gear up for another exciting travelling season, we continue with a countdown of the Liberty Park Press top-5 airports to land at in the world. Selection criteria include scenery, excitement and of course reputation.
Even though an airport has been officially decommissioned, does not disqualify it from consideration. No credible aviation list would be complete without the inclusion of the once proud Kai-Tak airport which literally served downtown Hong Kong with an in your face landing surrounded by the Kowloon Bay and a wall of skyscrapers. The location, just 2.5 miles from the business epic-center and the theatrics provided by the flight crew will never be duplicated.
As the colony was forfeited to the China by the British government in 1998, so went the fate of the airport and the infamous 52 degree right turn against the backdrop of a checkerboard on a ridge and an immediate steep descent onto a small landing window and extreme speed reducing measures prior to landing. After an 11 to 13 hour trans-pacific flight from the West coast, there was no need for a wake-up bloody mary upon arrival at the terminal.
The adrenaline rush spurred by the once raw capitalism offered in Hong Kong and the thrill of descending gracefully into the vortex of the city will forever be missed. Urban legend stemming from the Kowloon City neighborhood adjacent to Kai-Tak, was that the wheels of 747’s and Airbus heavies actually grazed the tops of apartment buildings on more than one occasion. While there is no validity to the rumors, the world class quality of local plane spotting opportunities was a widely known fact.
The videos available on-line of jumbo jet landings prove stunning and don’t do justice to the experiences of the those on the plane and those filming.
VIDEO: From The Cockpit- Landing A 747 AT Kai-Tak (Courtesy AIRBOYD)