Not a single aircraft has landed or taken off from Pingtung County’s Hengchun Airport since August 2014 — that is until Wednesday last week. A light aircraft suddenly landed and then took off again from the airport, leaving locals scratching their heads wondering whether it was in fact a scheduled flight. Hengchun Airport provided an explanation: the aircraft, which belongs to a civil aviation training center, was carrying out a test.
Locals joke that the only things taking off and landing at the airport now are mosquitoes, however at the end of March this year, the Executive Yuan agreed to a plan by Pingtung County government to use Hengchun Airport for international flights as part of a two-year trial.
However, to date no international commercial charter flights have landed at the airport. Instead, a civil aviation training center has unexpectedly taken a liking to the airport and quietly carried out a test run.
Photo:Tsai Tsung-hsien, Liberty Times
Apex Flight Academy, who carried out the test, says the airport’s runway is sufficiently long, while it is also within easy reach of both Taitung and Kaohsiung. Furthermore, says the academy, with no regular flights scheduled at the airport, and so long as one takes care to avoid military exercises in the surrounding area, Hengchun Airport is well suited to trainee pilots.
(Liberty Times, translated by Edward Jones)
1. light aircraft n. phr.
小型飛機 (xiao3 xing2 fei1 ji1)
2. scheduled flight phr.
航班 (hang2 ban1)
3. charter flight phr.
包機 (bao1 ji1)
4. take a liking to phr.
看上 (kan4 shang4)
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