Taiping airport

Taiping airport is located in Tekah (it is also called Tekah airport) and was built in 1929. It was the first airport officially established in the Federated Malay States and also in South East Asia.

Besides serving as a commercial airport for the use of the British officers and European merchants, the airport also served as the airstrip for the Royal Malayan Air Force. The airport served short distance destinations such as to Alor Star, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The Penang-Singapore flight route ran a daily stop at the Taiping airport. The first Malayan scheduled passenger air service was run by Wearne Air Services (WAS) and included a daily flight to Taiping which also delivered newspapers.

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart and her Lockheed Elektra. (Source: Wikipedia)

The airport achieved worldwide fame when the famous American aviator, Amelia Mary Earhart, had a stopover at the Taiping airport in 1937 to refuel during her ill-fated world flight attempt on a Lockheed Electra financed by Purdue University. Earhart was on a flight route from Thailand to Singapore, and she was given permission to land, by the then Resident-General of the FMS, at Taiping Airport on 7 June 1937 .

Soekarno and Hatta in Taiping

Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta in Taiping, August 1945.

Another significant mark in the history of Taiping airport was when Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta, who later became the President and Vice-President of Indonesia, respectively, landed at Taiping airport on 12 August 1945, for a meeting with Dr. Burhanuddin Helmi and Ibrahim Yaacob who were leaders of Kesatuan Rakyat Indonesia Semenanjung (KRIS) to talk about the possibility of uniting Malaya with Indonesia (the concept of Indonesia Raya) when the latter achieved independence. The meeting was arranged by Japanese army officers during World War 2.

After the end of the Japanese occupation, Taiping airport only served flights to other airports within Perak, leaving Ipoh as the only Perak airport to provide passenger services to other Malay states. Today, the airport is no longer in regular use. Taiping airport is recognised by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and carries the 3-letter IATA code of TPG.

Reference:
1. Wikipedia
2. TPG: theairdb.com

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