Abandoned Singapore: Kallang Airport

Kallang Airport, was Singapore’s first purpose-built civil airport and operated between 1937-1955. As of documentation and writing [2019] the airport lies empty, having been vacant since 2009, when the People’s Association (PA) shifted their offices from the site. The site has been gazetted for consevation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and awaits redevelopment in line with plans to convert the surrounding area into a lifestyle, entertainment and retail cluster.

Abandoned Hangar, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Abandoned Hangar, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore

The airport sits on 300 acres of reclaimed mangrove swamp in the Kallang Basin area, close to the centre of Singapore. Upon opening it was declared the “finest airport in the British Empire” on account of its superior facilities and during a 1937 stopover, the famous aviator Amelia Earhart called the airport “an aviation miracle of the East”. [1]

Kallang Airport aerial view with Sports Hub, Singapore
Kallang Airport aerial view with Sports Hub, Singapore
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore

The main terminal building had a control tower and two side blocks with attached hangars. It was designed by Frank Dorrington Ward, the PWD’s chief architect at the time. Reflecting early modernist British architecture, its interiors, including railings and columns, were detailed with Art Deco ornamentation.

Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Spiral Stairs, Kallang Airport Control Tower, Singapore
Spiral Stairs, Kallang Airport Control Tower, Singapore

A small steel spiral staircase leads up to top floor of the control tower, where the flight controllers would have originally operated. Towards the end of the 1940s, Kallang Airport began to face difficulties coping with the increased air traffic and larger planes. The colonial government decided in 1950 to replace Kallang Airport with a new one at Paya Lebar,  leading to to Kallang’s closure on 20 August 1955. [2]

Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore (Hasselblad 500cm)
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore (Hasselblad 500cm)
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore (Hasselblad 500cm)
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore (Hasselblad 500cm)

Above photographs taken with Hasselblad 500cm + 80mm CF, Ilford Delta 400 film.

Abandoned Hangar, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Abandoned Hangar, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Abandoned Hangar, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Abandoned Hangar, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Hangar Door, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Hangar Door, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Abandoned Hangar, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Abandoned Hangar, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Abandoned Hangar, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Abandoned Hangar, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore
Terminal Building, Kallang Airport, Singapore

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