Aviation – Old Kallang Airport

Today in Singapore I got an opportunity to look around the old Kallang airport as part of the Singapore heritage festival.

There are so many things unique about this place. Firstly the area it was built on was a swamp and it was reclaimed and the airport built in 1937. It also had a circular “runway” as the planes were small an light. It allowed planes to take off and land in either direction. The Kallang river served as the landing strip for seaplanes that could then be served by the same terminal. The Japanese later constructed a straight runway on the site. The terminal building itself also looks a bit like a bi-plane

Looking at the map now you can make out the geometry of these structures though it is all built up now. A nearby housing estate Dakota crescent is supposedly named after a Dakota DC3 that crashed there.

Amelia Earheart also landed here on June 20th 1937 (hey that’s my birthday) less than 2 weeks before she dissapeared.

We also heard about aviation in those days. It would have taken around 10 days to get from London to Australia with about 24 stop overs according to an imperial airways ticket. The planes themselves were for few passengers and seemed to be designed after trains with seating around tables and berths for sleeping. They also used fly low and slow allowing for sight seeing from the air.

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