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  • Gordon Dumoulin

Shanghai Hongqiao airport 100th anniversary

First established as a small facility in 1921 adjacent to a military airstrip (built in 1907), Hongqiao Airport has undergone massive developments in the past century. In May 1923, the airport was opened for mixed civilian use and was occupied by the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese war (better known in China as the War of Resistance against Japanese aggression, 中国抗日战争).



After the war, the airport was predominantly used for military, “In 1952, Shanghai’s commercial air travel consisted of just 611 passengers,” (Luo Keping, a former official with the state-owned Shanghai Airport Authority).

In 1963, the airport reconstructed and expanded for civilian use, re-opened in 1964. The strong growth came during China’s reform and opening-up period in the late ’70s and early ’80s in which Shanghai created a new urban area to attract foreign investment around Hongqiao Airport. The airport was again expanded in 1984 and 1988.





Hongqiao Airport served as Shanghai's primary airport until the completion of Pudong International Airport in 1999, when almost all international flights were moved to Pudong and Hongqiao became mainly a domestic hub.

Terminal 2 was completed in 2010, boosting passengers to 40 million a year and the old terminal 1 was renovated in 2018. The integration with Hongqiao railway station (2010, largest in Asia) is making Hongqiao a central transportation hub in China.


The future is bright, Hongqiao area has been blueprinted last week for an international open hub, a global business district to be completed by 2035. More about this in a next post.

Source and inspiration : Sixthtone

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