Wikipedia states that Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong originally had two runways, both built under Japanese occupation during World War II:

... In 1942, the Japanese army expanded Kai Tak, using many Allied prisoner-of-war (POW) labourers,[9] building two concrete runways, 13/31 and 07/25.

However, by the time Kai Tak was closed in 1998, only one runway (the famous 13/31) remained. I can find no mention of when runway 07/25 was closed, or why; can someone help answer those questions?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Because @Terry told them it was of no use as he could not land his 747 there... $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Mar 20, 2019 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


enter image description here

The two original short runways (shown above) were actually abandoned c. 1955 in favor of a brand new longer runway built into the bay (completed 1958) to accommodate the new jetliner (the 13/31 you know).

The year also saw the start of work on a $110,000,000 project to revolutionize Kai Tak Airport by the construction of a 7,200-ft runway on an artificial promontory reclaimed from the sea and projecting out into the waters of Kowloon Bay. In danger of being knocked off the international airline map by reason of its airport being too small and dangerous for the Comet and the larger conventional airliners, Hong Kong has now taken steps to keep itself firmly on the map. The airport project, when completed in 1958, will provide, for the first time since aviation started in the Colony, facilities for day and night operation all the year round.

A note on the design of runways: Two intersecting runways are usually treated as one, as both can't be used simultaneously unless they're sufficiently long and a procedure like LAHSO is used. Kai Tak started with 2 to cover the compass as much as possible, since early on the designers didn't have wind data. It was typical of that era to build 3 runways 60° apart, then later on expand the most useful, and abandon the rest.

Source: https://gwulo.com/kai-tak-airport-history

  • $\begingroup$ Of course, not all postwar airports ended up abandoning some of their runway directions - for instance, KBOS is still triangular. $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Mar 22, 2019 at 3:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Sean: Yep, this is probably why. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Mar 22, 2019 at 7:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .