Željava air force base
The military aerodrome of Željava, the largest underground airport and former base of the Yugoslav People's Army, on the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, near Bihać, is known as Bihać airport. It has been in full function since 1968 to 1992 when it was destroyed by the activation of mines and explosives at the withdrawal of the JNA.
Željava is a village in Croatia, on the state border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The airport itself is located at 44 ° 50 '3' 'north latitude and 15 ° 47' 44 '' south latitude, at an altitude of 337 meters or 1099 feet.
The tactical-technical features were impressive: three galleries for 58 airplanes were interconnected in the form of a letter M with an extended middle arm where there was an aircraft repair workshop and a side-by-side gallery, a wrap-around width of approximately 14 meters height between 8 and 10 meters. The gallery profile was built according to the dimensions of the aircraft owned by Klek (MiG 21). At the crossings the gallery height was increased to 12 meters. Other rooms of various uses, as well as corridors, were in widths of three to 12 meters. There were, among other things, rocket and bomb warehouses, fuel tanks, electrogenerators, airconditioners, kitchens, classrooms, doctors ... The total length of the tunnels (galleries and auxiliary rooms) was around 3500 meters. The galleries were 400, 500 and 350 meters long, each eight meters high and 20 meters wide.
The base was the 117th LAP (Hunting-Aviation Puk) with 124 and 125 Squadrons, armed with the most modern MiG-21 aircraft of different versions and uses. The third squadron was detained in Pula and served as pilot training. They would have been deployed into the elite units of auxiliary aviation after the completion of the overhaul. Željava was also based on the 352 Scout Squadron, which was not part of the 117th LAP. The command of the Squadron Squadron was located in the underground part of the facility. Within the airport was Air Base which had a unit of lower rank; they performed backlog, ie logistics insurance and other auxiliary and supporting activities. The base command and the associated units were located in the barracks three kilometers away from the airport, with the fuel depot in Pokoj village and the missile and bombing warehouse in Vedro Polje.