Did you know?
When Hong Kong’s first night flight took off from Kai Tak 58 years ago this month.
Night flights may not be a novelty today, but when Hong Kong’s first one took off at 8.30pm on July 18, 1959 and returned 20 minutes later, guided by the Kai Tak lights, the excitement was palpable.
A new chapter in Hongkong’s civil aviation history was written yesterday when a CPA DC-3 aircraft took off from Kai Tak airport at 8.30 p.m. officially to introduce night flying, ran a story in the South China Morning Post on July 18, 1959.
On board the aircraft were newsmen and other guests who had a wonderful bird’s eye view of Hong kong by night. They also saw the airport’s approach and lead-in lights which guide aircraft on landing and take-off.”Ahead of the Cathay Pacific Airways flight, guests enjoyed a cocktail party and lighting-up ceremony, hosted by British General Electric, Hong Kong, which had installed the lights in a contract valued at HK$2.6 million.
On leaving for a 20-minute trip, the aircraft sped along the runway equipped with lights spaced at intervals of 200 feet, and headed towards Lyemun Lei Yue Mun Pass, the story continued. It circled over Shaukiwan Shau Kei Wan and turned back towards the airport . After a low pass over the runway, the aircraft turned around and made a perfect landing from the direction of the Kowloon hills.
The report heralded the Kai Tak lights, which, it said, had “no counterpart anywhere in the world.
Aircraft approaching from the opposite direction are guided across Kowloon Bay by seven groups of lights mounted on ‘Dolphins’ constructed in the sea.
Did you Know when is the busiest time to fly?
Airports are at their busiest during the summer and holidays, but if you’re hoping to avoid the peak times, it might be worth considering the days of the week when they’re likely to be the most crowded.
According to The Independent‘s research, Fridays and Saturdays are when passenger numbers will be at their highest in UK airports over the holiday season.
The newspaper also identified a few key dates which are expected to be the busiest at the major airports, including Friday 25 August, which marks the start of the Bank Holiday weekend this year.
Stanched, Luton and Birmingham airports all predict that Friday 25 August will be their busiest day, but London Heathrow has already seen a record-breaking number of passengers this summer. It’s estimated that 259,917 people travelled through the transport hub on Friday 30 June.
At Manchester airport, Friday 18 August is likely to be the busiest day but for outbound travellers from Gatwick, Friday 21 July is tipped to be the busiest, with 84,000 passengers.
Baggage reclaim and passport queues are predicted to be at their worst at Gatwick on Sunday 3 September, when 87,000 passengers are expected to return from their summer holidays.
We are expecting record numbers to use the airport this summer with passenger numbers on all of our top 10 routes exceeding last year’s totals,” Guy Stephenson, Gatwick’s chief commercial officer, commented.
Analysis of the peak travel times comes after a BBC report revealed that one in five holiday flights from the UK are delayed for more than 30 minutes. The airport with the largest amount of delayed departures of 30 minutes or more was found to be Gatwick, with a third of international flights affected.