The History of Taiwan/Taipei Taoyuan International Airport (Formerly Chiang Kai Shek International Airport)

History of Taipei Taoyuan International Airport (IATA: TPE, ICAO: RCTP)
*Inspired by @CaptainZac

Early History (1970-2000):
In the 1970s, Taipei’s former main airport, Taipei Songshan International Airport has become overcrowded as demand for travel to/from Taipei increased. Since Taipei Songshan Airport was located in the center of Taipei, it had nowhere to expand, so a new airport was built 50 km to the southwest of Taipei in the city of Taoyuan. Taoyuan Airport’s first terminal opened in 1979. The airport would be first named after the second president of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai Shek, who died 4 years ago. The airport would be called Taipei Chiang Kai Shek International Airport (IATA: CKS, ICAO: RCTP (I think)). The airport has two runways since its opening (RWY 05R/23L) (RWY 05L/23R), and it first only had 22 gates in total. China Airlines was the only airline owning a hub at this airport, and later in 1989, EVA Air became the second airline to own a hub in this airport.

Expansion and Renaming (2000-):
In 2000, Terminal 2 was built. It was built due to heavy congestion from the aging Terminal 1. The south concourse opened in 2000, and the north concourse opened in 2005. EVA Air became the first airline to move to Terminal 2 followed by China Airlines. Both concourses also saw the addition of 4 remote gates to each concourse after the completion of Terminal 2. A year later in 2006, Chiang Kai Shek International Airport was renamed to Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. In 2020, Starlux became the third airline to own a hub at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport (if you exclude subsidiaries). Currently, Terminal 3 is under construction and it is scheduled to open in 2023. Terminal 4 is currently still under planning. The Minister of Public Construction has planned for the third to open in 2025. It would be located on the north side of the airport next to the current Runway 05L/23R.

Taipei Taoyuan Airport currently has 2 terminals and 4 concourses, with 2 more terminals and 4 more concourses being built. The Terminals are Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 as well as the planned Terminal 3 and Terminal 4. The concourses are A, B, C, and D as well as the planned E, F, G, and H concourses.

Terminal 1:
Used mostly by China Airlines (for Short/Medium Haul flights), Starlux, Cathay Pacific, Low-Cost Carriers, and Skyteam Carriers, as well as Thai Airways, Royal Brunei Airways, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, S7 Airlines, and many more. It has 22 gates with 11 in each concourse.

Terminal 2:
Used mostly by EVA Air, Star Alliance Carriers, and China Airlines (Long Haul flights), as well as Air France, KLM, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, and many more. It has 28 gates (8 are remote gates) with 14 gates in each concourse.

Top 10 Busiest Routes:

Rank Destination Airlines Passengers
1 Hong Kong (Chep Lap Kok) EVA Air, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Hong Kong Airlines 6,109,841
2 Tokyo (Narita & Haneda) China Airlines, EVA Air, Cathay Pacific, ANA, Jetstar Japan, Japan Airlines, Peach, Tigerair Taiwan, Vanilla Air, Scoot 3,107,343
3 Osaka (Kansai) China Airlines, EVA Air, Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia X, Jetstar Japan, Japan Airlines, Peach, Tigerair Taiwan, Vanilla Air, Jetstar Asia 2,714,780
4 Seoul (Incheon) EVA Air, China Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air, Cathay Pacific, Scoot, Thai Airways, UNI Air 2,655,228
5 Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi+Don Mueang) EVA Air, China Airlines, Thai Airways, Tigerair Taiwan, NokScoot, Thai Lion Air 2,399,311
6 Singapore (Changi) EVA Air, Singapore Airlines, China Airlines, Scoot, Jetstar Asia 1,926,444
7 Manila (Ninoy Aquino+Clark) China Airlines, EVA Air, Philippine Airlines, Philippines AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, KLM 1,747,881
8 Shanghai (Pudong) China Airlines, EVA Air, Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Juneyao Airlines, Spring Airlines 1,739,872
9 Ho Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat) China Airlines, EVA Air, Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, UNI Air 1,346,413
10 Macau EVA Air, Tigerair Taiwan, Air Macau 1,290,114


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  • If you think that I am getting into politics by talking about Chiang Kai Shek, well that’s how the airport was named, and you can’t change history.

Nice topic! You got the king of history to reply to you (I’m not the king, just a joke, don’t think lowly of me lmao 😂)

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Thanks, it took an hour to finish this thread.

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Interesting! I don’t know much about other airports around the world compared to the US
Thanks for sharing!

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Glad you learned something from this thread. @anon74260613

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Really nice topic. Was a great read. Nice work!

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Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by!

Nice topic, I just flew there this afternoon on the training server.

Still remember those days when SQ operated the 747 tropical Livery to LAX via TPE. The events of 31st October 2000 on board SQ 006 really does hit home.

Hope to change my next IF fleet after the A359 to the A388 and then to the B78X, I would definitely frequent this airport a lot more often.

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Yeah, the SQ006 incident was very tragic. It was the ATC’s fault though.

Btw, isn’t it 1 am over there?


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Yeah I am scheduled for a flight at 9 am later, time to hit the sheets…

Nighty Night :)

Not really, the Pilots also played a role in it.

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Good night to you as well.

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But seriously, a lot of Taiwanese Air Traffic Controllers speak very bad English.

Lovely Informative Topic!

I fly here every year as a connection to Macau. I usually fly from Seattle via Eva’s 77W, then Uni Air (Eva Subsidiary) to Macau.

The terminals are very modern indeed, lots of themed shops.

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Wait, Spirit flies to Taipei? jk

Yeah the terminals are pretty modern, but Terminal 1 is starting to age.

Nice pictures btw.

And in my opinion, some of the themed gates are quite ugly.

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oops, accidental edit 😂.

I have not been to T1 yet, maybe i’ll check next time. I believe I am going next year from Osaka so I will be T1 for the arrival

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