Chelyabinsk Shagol Airport
|Elevation AMSL||830 ft / 253 m|
Chelyabinsk Shagol Airport (also Bakal) is an airfield in Russia located in the northwest part of Chelyabinsk. It was the first airport in Chelyabinsk, opened in 1938. Since 1953, all passenger traffic is handled by Chelyabinsk Balandino Airport, and Shagol Airport is used by the local pilots' training school, the Chelyabinsk Red Banner Military Aviation Institute of Navigators. In August 2007 it was used in military exercises of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. It was a military bomber training base during the Cold War and had about 35 Tupolev Tu-134 UBLs based as recently as 1995. The airport can park over 40 aircraft. It is also used for air shows.
Kommersant-Vlast indicated in 2005 that the 239 Separate Mixed Aviation Regiment was based here. From 2010, it also serves as the base for the 6980th aviation squadron (regiment 69806) equipped with Su-24M bombers and Su-24MR reconnaissance aircraft.
The aircraft landing runway 30 have to fly over multiple dense residential districts, which caused noise concerns from local residents. They said that low-flying aircraft wake them up at night and trigger car alarms. A court order in 2013 suspended the flights of Su-24 aircraft. The ruling was overturned in the Supreme Court of Russia, which, however, also required the airport to increase its glideslope angle by 1.5 degrees.
Some of the Su-24 aircraft based in Shagol were relocated to Syria in 2015 and returned in March 2016. One of the Shagol-based aircraft was shot down in Syria by Turkish military, worsening the relations between Turkey and Russia.
Photos of the aircraft stationed in the airport
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