Kunming Wujiaba International Airport
|Closed||28 June 2012|
|Elevation AMSL||1,895 m / 6,217 ft|
|Kunming Wujiaba International Airport|
Kunming Wujiaba International Airport
(IATA: KMG, ICAO: ZPPP) was the main airport serving Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, China. It is located 4 km (2.5 mi) south-east of metropolitan Kunming. Originally built in 1923, the airport had been renovated numerous times into a modern facility before closing on 28 June 2012. It was a major hub for China Eastern Airlines, Kunming Airlines, and Lucky Air. The airport has been replaced by the new Kunming Changshui International Airport. As of 2021, Wujiaba Airport has been demolished and the land will be fully redeveloped before end of 2021.
Wujiaba is among the oldest airports in China, with a history that can be traced back to about 100 years, and was first established into a military airbase and flight-training institute under the supervision of local warlord General Tang Jiyao in 1922; an additional 23 airports would be established in Yunnan from 1922-1929.
The Sino-Japanese War was the beginning of World War II in Asia, and following the Battles of Shanghai and Nanjing, the Chinese Central Air Force Academy had to be relocated from Jianqiao Airbase to the expanded Wujiaba Airport. After a few years of support of the Chinese Air Force under the Sino-Soviet Cooperation in the War of Resistance against the Empire of Japan, the United States began to show earnest support for China's war effort with the oil embargo and asset freezing against Japan in 1941, and Wujiaba became the base for the "legendary Flying Tigers", the American Volunteer Group (AVG) of combat airmen serving in the Chinese Air Force, led by Claire Lee Chennault just before the United States entered the war. After the US entered the war in December 1941, and starting in 1942, Wujiaba Airport was the headquarters of numerous United States Army Air Forces units, including the Fourteenth Air Force and later the Tenth Air Force.
The USAAF Air Transport Command (ATC) established a major air transport facility at the airport, which connected flights west to Chabua Airfield, India, with other routes within China Jiangbei Airport (Chunking); Chengtu Air Base, and Banmaw Airport (Bhamo, Burma). After the war ended in 1945, a 1,390-mile (2,224 kilometer) route east to Clark Air Base in the Philippines was established. The route to Clark AB established a complete worldwide transport route for ATC
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