Shijak

Validation date: 30 12 2011
Updated on: 07 02 2023
Views: 3428
See on the interactive map:


41°21'47"N 019°36'42"E

runway: 16/34 - 1000x75m (estimated) - unknown

Shijak air field was a military airfield east of Durrës on the coast of Albania.
It is not known when the airfield was built but it already existed in 1943. At the time it was a Luftwaffe airfield that was frequently bombed by 9th Air Force from southern Italy. Likely it was built between 1940 and 1942 by the Regia Aeronautica and taken over by the Germans when Italy surrendered to the Allies.

In 1960 it appeared in a USAF planning document. Around 1980 it appeared (in text) in the World Air Forces Directory of Flight International magazine as having MiG-21s. Although there was an airfield at Shijak, the MiG-21 claim is highly unlikely, as the airfield did not posess a runway long enough to handle high performance jet fighters. The information Flight International published a few years later (MiG-19s) seems more likely.


No photos of the airfield while in use have been located.

For unknown reasons the Albanians decided not to expand the airfield. Instead they alledgedly converted it to a SA-2 Surface to Air Missile site. It is not known when the SA-2 unit left.
Aerial photography from 2002 showed a row of radio antennas around the western and northern edges of the terrain. Several smaller antennas can be found on either side of the row of large antennas positioned in a crescent shape. A single large antenna is to be found on the east side of the field. What appear to be businesses were built on the northern end of the runway.
The current status of the former airfield is unknown. On Google Streetview imagerie taken  in 2016 it looked largely overgrown, although the HF antenna masts were still clearly visible from the entrance.


The remains of Shijek Airfield in 2002. The shadows of several radio masts are clearly visible on the northwest side of the airfield (Google Earth).