Kai Tak Airport(IATA:HKG,ICAO:VHHH / VHHX) was the international airport ofHong Kongfrom 1925 until 1998. Officially known asHong Kong International Airportfrom 1954 to 6 July 1998, it is often referred to asHong Kong International Airport, Kai Tak,or simplyKai TakandKai Tak International Airport, to distinguish it from its successor, which may be referred to asChek Lap Kok International Airport, built on reclaimed and levelled land around the islands ofChek Lap KokandLam Chau, 30 kilometres (19 mi) to the west.
The new airport on the island of Chek Lap Kok was thus opened at 6 am on July 6, 1998 with the arrival of Cathay Pacific Flight CX889 (nicknamed “Polar 1”) from New York. The first week of operations was interrupted by a sequence of IT failures based on software bugs in the Flight Information Display System. This, in turn, disrupted baggage handling and airlift allocation. But by the end of the first week, these challenges and other initial issues had largely been resolved, the new airport was exceeding Kai Tak’s performance measures. The exception was the main air cargo terminal at the new airport, built and operated by HACTL as a franchisee. The terminal faced great difficulties to start operating on July 6th, so it closed again on July 7th to allow the franchisee to implement a major recovery program. The disruption this caused to air cargo operations at the new airport led the Government to temporarily reactivate the Kai Tak cargo terminal for a month.
During this period, Kai Tak received the temporary ICAO code VHHX.