Forum: Turn old Kallang Airport premises into transport museum

On June 12, 1937, Kallang Airport was opened.

Its architecture was iconic, and it served both planes as well as flying boats.

It became one of the finest airports in the world, connecting Singapore to the rest of the world and was the key node for pioneer air travel between Britain and Australia.

Kallang Airport closed after 18 years of service, handing over the gateway to Paya Lebar Airport in 1955.

The important role Kallang Airport played and the historic significance of the buildings and the surrounding land where the original grass airfield was (which is now the Sports Hub) is something that the Singapore public and visitors to Singapore should appreciate. It was our first aviation jewel.

I would like to suggest that the Kallang Airport terminal building and the adjacent buildings, that had been gazetted for conservation, be transformed into an Integrated Transport Museum combined with commercial, educational and leisure facilities.

This will reflect the importance of transport to the economic and social development of Singapore.

The museum will bring together all the elements of transportation (land, sea and air) that enabled the economic progress of Singapore and which contributed to the nation's success story.

It will recount how well Singapore planned the infrastructure needed for these modes of transport.

Besides being the engine for its economic growth, the evolution and dynamic progress of transportation has impacted Singapore's social fabric.

The development of land public transportation - from the rickshaws to taxis, buses and today's MRT system - is close to the hearts of all citizens.

Generations of Singaporeans have lived through the many changes with stories to tell.

A call for contributions from the public for photographs, video clips and artefacts will encourage participation from all.

More importantly, the museum should include galleries to showcase current and future technologies in transportation, be it unmanned vehicles, supersonic travel or sustainable transportation.

The nearby Stadium and Kallang MRT stations will give easy access to locals and tourists.

The museum can also be developed as part of a commercial Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) event hub, since it is near the business and commercial district.

Goh Yong Kiat

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