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5 abandoned runways in the Croatian woods

Reading up on this massive installation. Probably europe‘s largest abandoned air base.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%BDeljava_Air_Base

google

Constructed for 20 years, cost approx 6 billion USD (source?).

5 military jet capable runways.

A myriad of underground tunnels and hangars providing nuclear blast proof shelter for ~100+ fighter jets and 1000+ personnel.

20km hidden pipeline to supply fuel.

Partly made inoperative by 50tons of explosives and area extensively land-mined in 1992.

Visit not advised due to PCB chemical gases and land mines.

Indiv. CBIR Instruction
LOWG, LEBL

It was on that “Abandonned Engineering” show. Used it for months only? Amazing.

The Bihać Municipality launched an initiative to open a local airport using the runway.

Please do

EBST

It is an interesting read. They finished it in 1968, used it extensively in 1991 during the War in Yugoslavia then blew partially blew it up afterwards. The military had some amazing civil engineering capability when you look at all the huge abandoned runways and facilities they left behind.

U206F, J3 Sea, PA32R & others
EIBR

I had the opportunity to visit it in late 1980’s.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

EuroGA fly-in?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I had the opportunity to visit it in late 1980’s.

Interesting! What did you see? Was the base in full operation?

Indiv. CBIR Instruction
LOWG, LEBL

I have been to Bihac (LQBI) last August. It is grass (sorry Peter).

Zeljava is curently not open for GA, but Aeroclub Una is working on that for the future.

PuF article coming in 10 days…

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Not sure why I am specially associated with grass? It is obvious from our meet-ups that about 50% of go-places pilots won’t do grass. And if you know something, Bosco, why not post it here? you will get way more exposure.

On the topic, there’s a lot online about this place. Lots of people went inside it, obviously with care. The PCB contamination is bunk, after all the years, intended to keep people out. Landmines are a problem in soil…

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Interesting! What did you see? Was the base in full operation?

I was visiting local aero club and they organized a visit to the airbase. The base was in full operation but we didn’t see much because it was highly restricted access facility. We were practically outside and saw few takeoffs that were performed practically out of the mountain. I used to know two MIG21 pilots who were based there but never got any details. In those days in our part of the world military was taken seriously and nobody messed around with top secret stuff.

At the beginning of war in Yugoslavia military concluded it wasn’t safe to operate from there (to launch the attacks against Croatian forces) so they moved the aircrafts elsewhere and demolished the base.

Last Edited by Emir at 19 Jan 11:49
LDZA LDVA, Croatia
11 Posts
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