Rhodes Air Base
Rhodes Maritsa Airport
Αερολιμένας Ρόδου - Μαριτσών
|Location||Maritsa, Rhodes, South Aegean, Greece|
|Elevation AMSL||204 ft / 62 m|
Rhodes Maritsa Airport (Greek: Αερολιμένας Ρόδου - Μαριτσών) (IATA: LGRD) is a military air base located on the island of Rhodes in Greece. The airport is located 14 km south west of the capital city of Rhodes, near the village of Maritsa, and 3 km south of the new Rhodes International Airport.
The airport was built in 1938 during the Italian occupation of the Dodecanese as a base for the Regia Aeronautica and was called Aeroporto di Martisa "G.Pessi Parvis" and its Italian airport code was 801. It housed a squadron of Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 and a squadron of Fiat CR.32 biplane fighters. In 1940, during World War II, it was bombed by the British Royal Air Force but stayed under Italian control until the Dodecanese Campaign, when it fell under German control.
After the war, it became the main airport for the island until 1977, when the new Rhodes International Airport was opened. Since then, Maritsa Airport is being used as a base for the Hellenic Air Force hosting permanently a SAR Super Puma helicopter as well a CH-47 Chinook while during summer a fire bombing helicopter is also hosted. Airport runway is also used by local clubs for car and motorbike races mostly off season.