Photo Exhibition Marks 100 Years of Aviation Development in Hong Kong
(HONG KONG, 22 February 2011) – One hundred years ago this March, a Farman biplane took off from the beach in Sha Tin, New Territories. The historic flight, piloted by Belgian aviation enthusiast Charles Van den Born, was the first powered flight in Hong Kong. This year, as Hong Kong' s aviation industry commemorates its centennial, an array of celebratory activities has been lined up to mark this important milestone.
To kick off the celebration, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) organised a "Photo Exhibition of the 100th Anniversary of Aviation Development in Hong Kong" that was officially unveiled at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) today.
Officiating at the ceremony were Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng, AA Chairman Dr Marvin Cheung Kin-tung, AA Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui Hon-chung and Director-General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo.
The exhibition covers the history of aviation in Hong Kong with a wide collection of precious vintage photographs from the pre-Kai Tak Airport days (before 1925), the Kai Tak period (1925-1998), and the new era (1998-present) that showcases the current HKIA. It is a valuable retrospective of local civil aviation's rich history and gives viewers fascinating educational experience about the development of the industry. The exhibition is shown with a replica of the Farman biplane in the background, which is suspended from the ceiling at HKIA.
Over one hundred vintage photos were displayed. Highlights among the photos include the first Hong Kong aviator, Charles Van den Born, and the Farman biplane in the early 1910s; the passenger terminal of the Kai Tak Airport in Kowloon City in 1947; the massive transformation of the current HKIA from two small islands to a world-class international airport; the official farewell bid to Kai Tak in 1998; and the marathon held in 1998 with runners finishing the race on the HKIA runway.
In the ceremony, Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng said, "The past hundred years have witnessed leaps and bounds in aviation, not least in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is an international and regional aviation centre. We are now blessed with a world-class airport, strong home carriers, many foreign carriers, an extensive aviation network and a well-respected regulatory regime."
"The aviation industry is competitive as it should be, but with our concerted efforts, we will be able to rise to the challenges ahead, taking aviation development in Hong Kong to a new level," she added.
AA Chairman Dr Marvin Cheung Kin-tung said, "We are very proud to experience the evolution of the old Kai Tak airport into the current HKIA through this photo exhibition. It is interesting to see how the airport has changed over the years to cater to the needs of the city; for example, without the visionary decision to build a new and larger airport with two runways on Lantau, Hong Kong would have had to turn away millions of passengers and large volume of air cargo; and Hong Kong might not have grown into the thriving and vibrant city it is today."
"Currently, AA is working on HKIA Master Plan 2030 to map out the airport's long-term development for the next 20 years," he added. "Timely planning and investment will help Hong Kong avoid the same situation that Kai Tak faced, maintain HKIA's world-class airport experience and help drive the city's economic growth for years to come."
Dr Cheung further said that HKIA will continue to tender support to other landmark anniversary events spearheaded by the Civil Aviation Department. These activities aim to promote HKIA's status as an international and regional aviation centre and preferred gateway to the Mainland.
Also at the ceremony, Director-General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo said that he takes pride in the collective achievement in successfully establishing Hong Kong as an important international aviation centre where a host of leading aviation organisations is based.
"We have one of the best airports, the best airlines and some of the most successful aircraft maintenance organisations here in Hong Kong. What started off literally as a tiny dot on the surface of the earth has now flourished to become a major player in the global aviation industry," said Mr Lo.
"I am extremely thankful to all our predecessors in the past centenary and those hardworking individuals serving in the aviation community who helped to build up a highly successful and competitive aviation industry in Hong Kong," he added.
The exhibition is open to the public every day from now until 30 June, at the Departures Level of Terminal 1 at HKIA. Admission is free. Coming soon is an "aircraft pull" event organised by the Civil Aviation Department to be held at HKIA on 17 March, in which four teams, including members of the public with children of six to eleven years old, will pull four aircraft a distance of 50 metres simultaneously.
Other centenary celebrations to be announced later this year include Asian Aerospace 2011, a charity gala dinner, a birdman flying competition, aviation knowledge test, 4D movie shows and a carnival.
(from left to right) AA Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Director-General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo, Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng and AA Chairman Dr Marvin Cheung Kin-tung officiate at the unveiling ceremony for "Photo Exhibition of the 100th Anniversary of Aviation Development in Hong Kong".
AA Chairman Dr Marvin Cheung Kin-tung says timely planning and investment will help Hong Kong avoid the same situation that Kai Tak faced, maintain HKIA's world-class airport experience and help drive the city's economic growth for years to come.
Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng says the aviation industry is competitive as it should be, but with concerted efforts, Hong Kong will be able to rise to the challenges ahead.
Director-General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo says that he takes pride in the collective achievement in successfully establishing Hong Kong as an important international aviation centre where a host of leading aviation organisations is based.
Hong Kong's first aviator, a dashing Belgian named Charles Van den Born, with his Farman biplane in France. He was 35 years old when this photo was taken on 22 March 1910.
Charles Van den Born lifts off from the tidal flats of Sha Tin, making history as the pilot of Hong Kong's first powered flight.
In the late 1980s, squadrons of 747s seemed to descend simultaneously, decanting throngs of passengers into the terminal during peak periods. Facilities were understandably strained.
Aircraft flying over Hong Kong's incomparable skyline.
Two small islands - Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau – were selected to be developed into the new airport. In 1993, the two islands became one – some 10,000 years after they had been separated by the rise of the oceans.
In February 1997, a Beech Super King became the first fixed-wing aircraft to land at Chek Lap Kok.
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