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Just found this topic. Many thanks to BigDog for his initial posting.
In the days when I was a frequent flyer to the USA, I flew in and out of Stapleton Airport many times, but understood the reasons driving the airport authorities to develop not just a a larger airport but one that was also less susceptible to the challenges of weather conditions encountered in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
I flew in and out of Hong Kong Kai Tak many times in the 1990s, notably as one of the sectors on United’s round-the-world flights (UA1/2). For eastbound UA2 flights from LHR the routing into HKG was via DEL, with the leg into HKG on a 747. My most recent experience of “landing” at Kai Tak was as the “pilot” in the 747 simulator at Coventry airport. Highly recommended to understand the challenges involved in the approach!
It finally closed down in 1959 but quite a bit of the old infrastructure is still there, just re-purposed, with a hotel and a tourist centre. I still pass by on the odd occasion to visit friends in that part of Surrey.
Kai Tak was more than a right turn. It was flying in between the tall residential buildings before a 180 over the apartment blocks at the end of the runway to land. Shame it had to go but it ran out of room in the terminals which became dire.