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After an original idea by Paul Freeman.
First published 7 Nov 2010. This collection of airfields is © 2010 - 2018 RonaldV
lv

Rumbula

07-07-2011

08-07-2017

311

56°53'00"N024°13'33"E

runway: 12/30 - 2000x55meters/6562x..feet - concrete

Air field Rumbula (ICAO: EVRC) was an airfield 11km/7Mi southeast of Riga, Latvia.
The airfield was built by the Soviet Air Force around 1950. It saw military use in the 1950s and 1960s, but in the 1960s it also served as a temporary airport for larger aircraft until the new Riga International Airport was opened in 1973.

0_54fa5_3e382245_XL.jpg
Russian ground crew taking a break on one of Rumbulas MiG-21 'Fishbeds' (source: Yandex.Fotki / Посмотреть на Яндекс.Фотках).

0_54fa4_4d26a420_XL.jpg
Russian ground crew working on one of Rumbulas MiG-21 'Fishbeds' (source: Yandex.Fotki / Посмотреть на Яндекс.Фотках).

After the Soviets withdrew their forces following Latvian independence in 1993, the airfield served as a base for the Latvian Air Force until 2001. Currently is it used as the biggest used car market in Latvia, and only about 5 aircraft and a small number of ultralight aircrat call the airfield 'home'. The airfield also has a few camouflaged hardened aircraft shelters (military hangars). They are mainly used for storage by local businesses and not freely accessible.

rumbula-2009.jpg
These two photos show how much influence the car market has on the airfield. The photo above was taken in 2002, the one below in 2009.
Business must be good in the Latvian used car trade. (Google Earth)

The 2000meter long runway was in a very poor condition and obstructed with holes and concrete blocks. They served as obstacles for driving schools and test drives of cars sold at the car market. However, on weekends motorized paragliders, ultralight aircraft and some light general aviation aircraft have begun reclaiming the airfield. Airsport enthusiasts are taking control over the runway to stop car driving students from interfering with gliders and planes. Air traffic to and from Rumbula can be observed mainly southbound over Rumbula and along the Daugava river in heights up to 300m (approx. 1000 ft).
Like many former Soviet Air bases in the Baltic, this airfield is very much polluted by oil and gasoline.

rumbula-2002.jpg
On the northwest side aircraft still manage to find a place at the airfield in 2009 (Google Earth)

rumbula-2011.jpg
This Google Streetview photo shows the runway, looking southeast, had severely deteriorated by 2011, with grass growing on the centerline. 

rumbula_02.jpg
Rumbula air base in 2013 (MyAirfields)

rumbula-may2017.jpg
Aerial photo taken in May 2017, showing Rumbula is no longer an airfield. A building has appeared immediately next to the northwest end of the runway. Fencing and rubble are visible on the other end and the dispersals are slowly disappearing under commercial activities (Google Earth)



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