Sungshan Airport Flights to China


#1

I would like to see the Sungshan airport handle some of the air travel between Taiwan and China, but not while it is still labeled as one of Taiwan’s domestic airports. Is this where the two political camps diverge? Would the KMT’s Mayor Ma agree to change Sungshan into a regional international airport to places like the Philippines, China and Vietnam, i.e., close in international destinations, or does Mayor Ma only want flights out of Sungshan to go to China and domstic Taiwanese locations? That sends the wrong signal in my opinion. On the other side, if Ma said that these flights to China could be labeled as international flights out of the Sungshan International airport, then would the DPP cabinent agree to allow these flights?

I suppose another concern would be the waning importance of the CKS airport. Also do you think the KMT defeated the high speed rail service plan to CKS airport as way to pressure people to accept the KMT’s plan to use the domestic airport to fly to China? Likewise, do you think the DPP opposes using Sungshan as the airport even if they change the classification of the airport from domestic to international because they do not want Ma to take credit for this idea?


#2

Politics aside, there are several practical reasons why Songshan airport should not be used for operating flights to China.

1) The most cited is national security. There are fears that China could land troops at Songshan under the cover of a passenger flight from China. I think the actual risk of this happening is pretty small.

2) Songshan airport is inappropriately located. It is prime real estate and there are a number of ways the land could be developed to provide a greater benefit to the public. There are also problems with noise and pollution at the Songshan airport.

3) Once the High Speed Railway line is completed there will be less demand for domestic air travel and the Songshan airport could be shut down without causing any major inconvenience.

4) The airport is too small. If there were direct flights to China there would be many more flights per day. Also airlines would want to operate large aircraft on the China routes and these would not be able to land at Songshan.


#3

Are you talking about the planned MRT line to CKS Airport? I don’t think it was defeated by the KMT. I think the contractor was unable to get the necessary finance for the project.


#4

Good points on why not to use Sungshan airport for flights to China.

Regarding the financing, who was responsible for approving the budget?


#5

[quote=“wix99”]Politics aside, there are several practical reasons why Songshan airport should not be used for operating flights to China.

1) The most cited is national security. There are fears that China could land troops at Songshan under the cover of a passenger flight from China. I think the actual risk of this happening is pretty small.
[/quote]

Actually, it’s NOT that small:

airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airc … /boyd.html

"In May 1968, a reconnaissance-sabotage group attached to the 103d Guards Airborne Division seized Prague Airport to enable the division to land. Prior to the operation, the officers and men were familiarized with the airport and its defenses. They embarked on a plane that received permission to land at Prague based on a fictitious claim of engine trouble. As the aircraft touched down and slowed, they jumped out, seized guard posts, and helped to set up a control team to bring in the division.14

In December 1979, SPETSNAZ, in company with the Committee for State Security (KGB), surrounded President Hafizullah Amin’s palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, and proceeded to execute Amin and virtually everyone in the palace. In the words of an Afghan survivor, "the SPETSNAZ used weapons equipped with silencers and shot down their adversaries like professional killers.“15 After this, the SPETSNAZ secured Kabul Airport in preparation for the mass airlanding of airborne troops.”

rickard.karoo.net/weaponslong.html

“The invasion of Czechoslovakia was designated Operation Danube. The Soviet Army formed a Strategic Direction composed of three Fronts (Central, Carpathian and Southern) and the VDV mobilised two of its divisions, of which the 103rd Guards Desant Division was to deliver the coup de main against Prague, with elements of the Polish 6th Airborne Division designated to take the airfield at Pardubice. On the evening of the 20th August 1968, an unscheduled Aeroflotte An-24 aircraft made an unscheduled landing at Ruzyme Airport at around 2030 hrs, and was soon followed by an aircraft from Lvov in the Ukraine at about midnight, which unloaded a number of Soviet ‘civilians’ who talked with Czech officials and then departed. As the troops of the three Fronts crossed the Czech border, the ‘civilians’ took up positions around the airport. At around 0200 hrs, two An-12 aircraft, escorted by MiG-21 fighters, landed at the airport, and two companies of desantniki (about 180 men) were disgorged and took over from the ‘civilians’. After the airfield was secured, the command An-24, which had been the first aircraft to arrive, ordered the rest of the 103rd Guards Desant Division to start landing. This contained a number of ASU-85s and armoured personnel carriers, and a special assault group was to take the presidential palace, with the rest of the division seizing key points around the city. Not long after, the lead elements of the Central Front, the 6th Guards and 35th Motor Rifle Divisions entered Prague.”


#6

[quote=“wix99”]
2) Songshan airport is inappropriately located. It is prime real estate and there are a number of ways the land could be developed to provide a greater benefit to the public. There are also problems with noise and pollution at the Songshan airport. [/quote]

It’s ideally located. I’ve woken on a sunny Saturday morning, decided to go to Matsu and been sipping pina coladas overlooking Fujian 2 hours later. Where’d the romance be if I had to venture into Taipei Co8unty first?

[quote=“wix99”]
3) Once the High Speed Railway line is completed there will be less demand for domestic air travel and the Songshan airport could be shut down without causing any major inconvenience.

4) The airport is too small. If there were direct flights to China there would be many more flights per day. Also airlines would want to operate large aircraft on the China routes and these would not be able to land at Songshan.[/quote]

On the one hand you have the airport facing falling demand (so it could be closed) while on the other you say the airport is going to be overloaded from increased demand. :?: Too small, just limit the number of flights and size of planes (as at airports everywhere).


#7

Sure it is convenient for people who live in some parts of Taipei City. They can drive to the airport in ten minutes and fly of to Jinmen or wherever. But you have to consider the net benefit. Convenient for some, but what if you lived under the flight path and were affected by the noise. Not everyone in Taipei flies regularly so if the airport was redeveloped with parks, sports facilities, schools, universities, etc. more people would be able to use the land.

The government tendered out the CKS airport MRT line on a build and transfer basis. The company that won the tender was unable to raise the funds to go ahead with the project. They will probably come up with some alternative rail link to the airport instead.


#8

It’s a matter of logistics! How are the transit passengers going to get from CKS to Songshan ? What about the visa status of passengers shuttling between airports? What about the cargo? I’d love to see this! :laughing: :laughing: