Zheng Yuan
A Failed Flight:Jiuquan Airport
Duration : 10 min. 8 sec.
Materials : Single-channel HD Video
Year : 2018

2018 – ongoing

In 1983 when the world was shadowed by the Cold War, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (also known as KAL 007/KE007), a flight with 200-odd passengers that deviated from its original route from New York to Seoul and flew into Soviet territory, was shot down by Soviet fighter jets. In the wake of the accident, the US government decided to expand the Global Positioning System (GPS) from exclusive military use to civilian purposes. A Flight Flop: Jiuquan Accident recorded how a drone took off and crashed in the former Jiuquan Airport of China-Soviet Civilian Airlines (CSCA) due to the loss of GPS signals. CSCA, announcing that it would open a business in 1950, was China’s first joint venture before the reform and opening-up. Then in 1954 when Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, then first Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1953–1964) paid a visit to China, CSCA was transformed into a wholly owned company in China, and finally became a historical bygone as China and the Soviet Union fell afoul of each other at the end of the 1950s. However, its relics from its time as CSCA Jiuquan Airport, one of the earliest airports to be put into use in Northwest China, has now become the first airport-oriented Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the Municipal Level in the country.