Rumbula Air Base

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Rumbula Air Base
Airport type Military
Location Riga, Latvia
Elevation AMSL 26 ft / 8 m
Coordinates 56°53′00″N 024°13′36″E / 56.88333°N 24.22667°E / 56.88333; 24.22667Coordinates: 56°53′00″N 024°13′36″E / 56.88333°N 24.22667°E / 56.88333; 24.22667
Direction Length Surface
m ft
2,000 6,562 Concrete

Rumbula (ICAO: EVRC) is an air base located 11 kilometres (7 mi) southeast of Riga city centre in Latvia. The airfield had military use in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1960s it was used as temporary passenger airport for bigger planes until the new Riga International Airport was opened in 1973. At least since 2001 there has been no military or commercial aviation based in Rumbula. Now it is mainly used as the biggest auto market in Latvia, and only about five small general aviation planes are based here. The runway is in very poor condition, with holes and concrete blocks often used to learn how to drive a car or for "test drives" of cars to be sold at the market. It is difficult to find a continuous whole and obstacle-free piece of the runway which is more than 3000m long. There are also a few "bomb-proof" camouflaged military hangars (one example is located at 56°53'08.39" N / 24°13'33.93" E). The hangars are mainly used as storage or general purpose facilities; they are not obvious on satellite images and are not freely accessible on the ground.

However, lately mainly on weekends motorized paragliders and ultra-light planes are using the runway. Airsport enthusiasts are taking control over the runway to stop car driving students from interfering with gliders and planes.

The air traffic from Rumbula can be observed mainly southbound over Rumbula and along the Daugava river in heights up to 300m (approx. 1000 ft).