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RAF Kuala Lumpur

RAF roundel

Airport type Military
Operator RAF
a. Now assigned to KLIA

RAF Kuala Lumpur was an RAF station in the Federation of Malaya and saw extensive use during the Malayan Emergency.


The airfield was home to:

  • No 155 Squadron operating Whirlwind Mk4 helicopters.
  • No 194 Squadron operating Dragonfly helicopters/re-equipped with Sycamore Mk14 helicopters.
  • No 267 Squadron operating Dakota, Valletta, Single and Twin Pioneers (Dakota and Twin Pioneers using broadcasting loudspeakers.)
  • No 848 Fleet Arm Arm Squadron Royal Navy using Whirlwind helicopters.
  • No 656 Squadron Army Mobile Servicing Squadron servicing Auster Mk.6, 7 and 9.

The station was handed over to Royal Malaysian Air Force in 1961. During the height of the Emergency, the single runway had the highest number of aircraft movements in the world. The station was situated about 3 miles from the town with its own swimming pool and cinema.


The airfield was also the site of the first civil airport, Sungai Besi Airport, which had a route to London with British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) using Britannia aircraft. The airport opened in about 1957. Malayan Airways operated Dakota aircraft on domestic flights. The Duke of Gloucester was greeted at the airport by the British High Commissioner in Malaya, Sir Donald Charles MacGillivray, when Malaya was granted independence ("Merdeka").

Sungai Besi Airport was in use as a civilian airport long before 1957, with Malayan Airways Airspeed Consuls and DC3's flying in and out of the airport from the late 1940s. BOAC Argonauts used the airport in the early 1950s, after the Marstrand matting runway and taxi ways were replaced by asphalt. A new terminal building was built in 1957 and this may be the source of confusion as to the date the airport was opened. (This building was demolished around 2004) Qantas started Super Constellation services into the airport in 1958 and BOAC Comets replaced the Britannias in 1959.

The civilian airport was later replaced by Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in 1965.

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Coordinates: 03°06′44″N 101°42′09″E / 3.11222°N 101.7025°E / 3.11222; 101.7025

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