Taipei Songshan Airport (IATA: TSA, ICAO: RCSS) is a mid-size commercial airport and military airbase located in Songshan, Taipei, Taiwan (the Republic of China). The airport covers an area of 182 hectares (450 acres). The civilian section of Songshan Airport, officially Taipei International Airport, has scheduled flights to domestic destinations in Taiwan and international destinations including Seoul, Tokyo, and select cities in mainland China. Songshan serves only a small portion of the international flights for Taipei compared to the larger Taoyuan International Airport. Songshan Airport is also the base of certain Republic of China Air Force units as part of the Songshan Air Force Base. The Songshan Base Command's main mission is to serve the President and Vice President of the Republic of China. The airport was built in 1936 during Japanese rule with its origins as a Japanese military airbase, the Taihoku Airfield (Japanese: 臺北飛行場, Hepburn: Taihoku Hikōjō), also known as Matsuyama Airfield (松山飛行場). After World War II, in 1946, it was taken over by the Republic of China Air Force. Shared military and civilian use—both domestic and international—began on 16 April 1950 in the reconstructed Civil Aeronautics Administration Taipei Airport (交通部民用航空局台北航空站). Domestic destinations have been Kaohsiung, Hualien, Taichung, Penghu, and Tainan. The first international destinations were Seattle, Tokyo, Pusan, Manila, Bangkok, and Hong Kong. The first international airlines included Northwest Airlines, Pan American Airlines, and Hong Kong Airways (now Cathay Pacific). Later, the airport became too small to handle an increased number of passengers, even after a series of expansions. This later worsened when new wide-body jets became common at the airport. Therefore, all international activities were relocated to Taoyuan International Airport (then known as Chiang Kai-shek International) after its inauguration on 26 February 1979. Consequently, the passenger load at the airport dropped from 6.2 million in 1978 to 2.9 million in 1979 (a 53% decrease). At its peak in 1997, the airport handled over 15.3 million passengers annually.
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