Canton Airport (CIS)

Abariringa, Kiribati (KI)

FAA CodePhone
Longitude-171.7100067Time ZonePacific/Enderbury (GMT +13:00)
Runway 16230 ft

Canton Airport Reviews (24)

Average User Rating


Anthony Price, October 24, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Fascinating! How did the nose of VH-BPH get to Finland? Must be an interesting story. My trip from Sydney via Fiji to Canton and onward via Honolulu to Oakland CA in 1947 was aboard DC-4 VH-ANA of Australian National Airways (see my earlier post (#3)).

Bcpa Dc-6 At Canton Island

Pekka Kauppi, October 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm

BCPA DC-6 VH-BPH at Canton Island. Its nose section is now preserved in Finland and made to a flight simulator. I fly it regularly from Sydney via Fiji, Canton Island, Honolulu, San Francisco to Vancouver.

Lived On Canton

Micheal Coffin, August 21, 2012 at 6:03 am

I had the honor of living on Canton Island from June 1966 to September 1967. This was my first civilian position after the Air Force. I worked for the U.S. Weather Bureau and actually recorded the last weather observation on Sep 18, 1967. NASA had a contract with Bendix Field Engineering Corp. to man the satellite tracking station and they were closing up shop. The Weather Bureau could not afford to keep us there since the support personnel would be closing all services such as power generation, water distillation, mess hall, and other services. Leaving was a sad ocassion. With a total population of about 45 people, it was a very peaceful and relaxing place to work and live. Hey – did I mention the greatest fishing on earth? I’ve lost my pictures from Canton and find it difficult to locate any posted from that period. Found pics from the 50s and from some activity during the 70s. Anyway, Canton will always have a warm spot in my heart and memories.

British Commonwealth Pacific Airline Airplane Tail Number

Steve Lewandowski, May 24, 2012 at 2:48 am

The tail number on the British Commonwealth Pacific Airline DC-6 that I have uploaded is VH-BPH which would identify her as the DISCOVERY!

Steve Lewandowski's Photos

Anthony Price, May 23, 2012 at 4:55 am

The ship is of course the ill-fated President Taylor, charted by the US military, that ran aground after offloading troops in 1942 in expectation of a Japanese invasion.

Canton Island Photographs Early 1950's

Steve Lewandowski, May 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Some huts on Canton Island.

Canton Island Photographs Early 1950's

Steve Lewandowski, May 22, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Excellent image of the Ham Radio Shack at Canton KIBS.

Canton Island Photographs Early 1950's

Steve Lewandowski, May 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Civilization on Canton.

Canton Island Photographs Early 1950's

Steve Lewandowski, May 22, 2012 at 10:46 pm

The ship President Taylor washed up near the shore.

Canton Island Photographs Early 1950's

Steve Lewandowski, May 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm

This must be the main and only terminal at Canton. The sign on the end of the building to the right says "Pan American World Airways", and the small sign on top of the tall directional sign says, " Along the route of the flying clippers". How would you love to find a sign like that?!

Canton Island Photographs Early 1950's

Steve Lewandowski, May 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm

British Commonwealth Pacific Airline Airplane on Canton Island.

More Canton Island Photos

Steve Lewandowski, May 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

Awesome shot of Canton Island from the air; circa 1951-1953.

More Canton Island Photos

Steve Lewandowski, May 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

Canton Island stranded ship

More Canton Island Photos

Steve Lewandowski, May 22, 2012 at 11:38 am

Canton Island from the air; circa 1951-1953

Canton Island Photographs 1951

Steve Lewandowski, May 22, 2012 at 3:29 am

I collect vintage photography and found some really great Kodachrome Slides circa 1951-1953, roughly of Canton Island. Here are a few for your viewing pleasure. My favorite is the one of the Canton Island Pan American Clipper sign and the pole with the number of miles to other destinations. Enjoy! These also came with a collection of slides from Umiat Alaska which was also a military airport and Air Force base in the same time period so I am speculating that the individual who took these amazing images had something to do with aviation. But, just a guess.

Born On Canton 1956

Sara Johnson, May 1, 2012 at 4:17 am

I was born on Canton in a Quanset Hut, too. Probably the same one Mr. Rhoades was born in! I was born in 1956. My dad, Howard Johnson, handled communications for the FAA — worked in the ‘radio shack’. My mom, Bessie Johnson, was the island school teacher on the US side, and my brother, Michael, about 6 or 7, was just a kid growing up on a desert island. I’m gathering materials for a book, and would welcome any slides, photos, stories that anyone wants to share. Mr. James Allen, you mentioned you had some but I can’t see how to contact you. I can be reached at sarajohnson249[at]

Lived There

Earl Rhoades, April 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I was born on Kanton in 1957 in a Quonset hut. My Australian mother was a stewardess for ANA and my father being formerly US military was working for the CAA then. I remember lots of planes landing there. My first 5 years of life a happy time on Kanton. I wish I could go back there.

Landed On Canton Island

Jim Kizer, March 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm

I landed a C-54(DC-4) on Canton Island on 27 April, 1966, 46 years ago tomorrow. As I recall, it was at about 0200. It was a very dark night and the lights on the airstrip were a welcomed sight. Protocol was that the lights came on automatically 30 min. prior to ETA and went off 30 min. after ETA. We were out of Kanehoe Bay, HI enroute to Sidney. We refueled, ate and rested and departed. A very nice experience.

Australian National Airways

Anthony Price, August 12, 2010 at 3:39 am

There were apparently two airlines called Australian National Airways. Here is the Google link to the second one, that lasted into the 1950s: The DC-4 that I flew on via Canton Island in 1947 was VH-ANA, which I only just realized was to experience a fatal crash in 1950. When in my previous post I said that ANA was the predecessor of Qantas, I didn’t necessarily mean chronologically but rather as the national flag carrier.

Australian Airlines

Michael Rose, July 13, 2010 at 6:44 am

I was always under the impression that Qantas was the longest surviving airline operating under the same name. According to Wikipedia Australian National Airways was a short-lived Australian airline, founded in 1929 by Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm. The airline began operations in January 1930 with five Avro 618 Tens, similar aircraft to Kingsford Smith’s famous Southern Cross. However, the airline folded in 1931 after the crash of VH-UMF Southern Cloud in the Australian Alps between Sydney and Melbourne, and VH-UNA Southern Sun in Malaya. It was therefore not the predecessor of Qantas.

Visited Canton Island 1947

Anthony Price, June 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I landed at Topham Field, Canton Island, on a flight with Australian National Airlines (predecessor to Qantas) from Sydney and Suva to Honolulu and Oakland, in April 1947. At Canton Island watched is a photo of our C-54 "AMANA" taken at the final destination. We were driven around the island to have breakfast at the PanAm hotel (spam and eggs), then we returned across the lagoon by boat. The wreck of the President Taylor was still on the reef, of course. That short visit was a lasting memory.

2 Years On Canton Island

James Allen, January 19, 2010 at 3:07 am

I lived and worked on Canton Island for 2 years in the early 70’s, assisting supervision of maintenance on 3 Ch3E helicopters that were bailed to us as civilian contractors. We operated three islands in the Phoenix group….Canton, Enderbury, and Hull Islands. When I first arrived there had been no one on the island for about 9 years and we had to live aboard a converted World War II Liberty ship until we had the housing brought back up to standards fit to occupy. There were about 350 of us on the island, all men, except for one visit by Sheilia Scott, aviatrix extraordinaire, when she paid us a visit whilst circumnavigating the globe. With two years behind me on the island, there are many stories that can be told, but perhaps I shall wait for an invitation to tell some of them….like the National Geographic benchmark that I unearthed whilst making repairs to the septic tank outside my house. I also hove numerous slides and photos from the island which I would love to share.

Visited Canton Island 1950

Darlene Kingi, November 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I was a child on board a DC3 flying from Vancouver, B.C. to Sydney, Australia, Feb. 22-26. Between Honolulu and Fiji Islands, we landed on Canton Island on account of a cyclone in Fiji. Crew and passengers were ‘ferried’ to the other side of the island and slept in army barracks overnight. We returned and flew out before dawn. I remember it being totally flat with no trees and suffocatingly hot.

My Time On Canton Island

Jack Fenimore, April 29, 2009 at 7:53 pm

I was a pilot flying P-39s off of the strip on the northwest side of the Canton island in 1943. We used to take a jeep and drive around to the Pan-Am facility on the south side to get a good meal. Pan-Am had a few personnel manning their facility including a kitchen crew, even though Pan-Am had not had one of their Clippers come in since the war had started. We were over 600 miles from the nearest japs, but one lone Jp bomber would come over once a month on the night of the full moon to try to bomb us. Their bombs either hit out in the sea or in the lagoon! The only shade on our base was under the wings of our planes. It averaged over 100 degrees every day!

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