The first civil airport;
The last operational Royal Air Force Base before British Surrender to the Japanese;
The first Central Manpower Base, Singapore Armed Forces; Presently the headquarters of the People's Association.

The first aeroplane landed in Singapore in 1911 in Farrer Park which became a regular stop between England and Australia.

Seaplane bases at Sembawang and Royal Air Force Seletar were completed in 1920s; decision was taken in 1930s to build a civilian airport at Kallang.

In Kallang the kampongs (villages) were relocated for the construction of the grass runaway and the terminal building.

On 21 November 1935 a flight of Hawker Ospreys from the aircraft carrier 'H.M.S. Hermes' landed on the unfinished airfield-the first planes to land on Kallang Airport. It is interesting to note that 'H.M.S.Hermes' was in the Indian Ocean during the Japanese invasion of Malaya in 1941 and could have taken the place of 'H.M.S. Indomitable' the escorting aircraft of the 'Prince of Wales' and the 'Repulse' and which rand aground in Kingston harbour in the West Indies and therefore could not get to Singapore.

The 'H.M.S. Hermes' could have been diverted to the Malayan waters. This might have altered the course of events of the Malayan Campaign.

In 1936 the terminal building was completed and in 1937 the hangars, Governor Sir Shenton Thomas officially opened the airport in June 1937 and after his address a signal rocket was fired indicating that the civil airport was open. By end of 1937 the Kallang Airport was fully operational and civil aircraft carried out daily flights to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang, the aircraft also conveyed special postal services.

During World War II Kallang Airport was used as military airbase and planes carried out bombing missions against the invading Japanese military forces. The Japanese bombed the airport three or four times a day and made fresh bomb craters which mad it possible to use only one strip of the runway (700 yards long).

The air defence of Singapore ended on 9 February 1942 and the last of the 8 'Hurricanes' flew to Palembang, Sumatra. On 11 February 1942 the Fighter Aircraft Operations Room at the Kallang Airport was abandoned and the Senior Radio Officer, Flight Lieutenant Carter, destroyer all the secret papers on the performance of British radar-a secret that point of time to the Germans, Italians and the Japanese.

Before the British Surrender to the Japanese on 15 February 1942 the final British perimeter included the Kallang Airport.

During the Japanese Occupation the Japanese used the Kallang Air Base.

The Kallang Airport became operational soon after the return of the British to Singapore in 1945 and the airfield was initially used by the Royal Air Force transport aircraft and later it was restored as a civil airport.

The only air disaster in Singapore occurred on 13 March 1954 when a BOAC Constellation crashed as it approached the runway. A total of 32 passengers and 2 crew members died in that disaster.

It became clear by 1948 that the Kallang civil Airport was not adequate for the increased air traffic; the development of the Airport was limited because it was close to the harbour and built-up areas. Decision was taken to build a new airport in Paya Lebar. The new airport was officially opened on 20 August 1955 and the Kallang Civil Airport was closed to air traffic the next day.

In March 1956 six British Members of Parliament visited Singapore to assess Singapore's ability to deal with internal security. A mass rally was organized on 18 March 1956 at the old runway at Kallang to demonstrate the people's desire for independence. There was a crowd of 25,000 carrying various banners and slogans. Mr David Marshall, the Chief Minister, the British Parliamentarians and other members of the Singapore Legislative Assembly were on a stage erected for them. The rally turned into a riot. The Chief Minister appealed to the crowd to restrain themselves; Mr Lee Kuan Yew also addressed the gathering to remain calm. Those on the stage made a dash to the old terminal building. About 50 persons including 20 policemen were injured in the melee that followed.

Britain was convinced that the Colony was not capable of dealing with internal security.

In 1959 the People's Action Party came into power and Mr Lee Kuan Yew became Singapore's first Prime Minister and Singapore became independent in 1963 by joining Malaysia.

Singapore was separated from Malaysia and became an independent Republic of Singapore on 9 August 1965. The Singapore Armed Forces were being formed. The old Kallang Civil Airport became the first Central Manpower Base which eventually moved out to Holland Road and finally to its present location at Depot Road.

The People's Association was officially inaugurated by the Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the old terminal building of the Kallang Civil Airport on 20 August 1960. The headquarters of the People's Association was also to second line of defence against the communists.

The National Stadium, the Kallang Theatre and other sporting facilities new occupy the former runway of the old Kallang Civil Airport.