Ljubljana: Polje Airfield

Letališče Polje, Staro letališče, Devica Marija v Polju

For historical information only, do not use for navigation or aviation purposes!
CoordinatesN460349 E0143354 (WGS84) Google Maps
Elevation 948 ft
Location indicatorLYLJ
Map with location of Ljubljana Polje Airfield, Slovenia

During the Cold War


Civil aerodrome and airfield of the Yugoslav Air Force until the mid 1960s.

In the 1940s


The following information is taken from CIA reports:
Report from 1947 (?)
Ljubljana airport in a CIA report, around 1947
Ljubljana airport in a CIA report, around 1947
Source: CIA-RDP82-00457R000600190010-8
1Lubricant stores (grease and oil)
2Underground gasoline stores
3Hangars used for storage purposes
5Office building
6Officers' Club and other offices
8Entrance to field
9Road block
10Guard office
11Observation room for civil lines
12Radio station
13Motor pool
14Fire-fighting unit
xPermanent guard posts
- - -Area enclosed by a wire fence
(a) The headquarters of an unidentified air division is located on the Ljubljana field with two dependent squadrons. The commander of the division detachment is a Major N..., a Slovene of Austrian origin. He is a former member of King Peter's Air Force and is about 42 years old. The planes belonging to the detachment were left by a Russian unit which operated in the Balkans during the war.
(1) The first squadron with 16 Yak-3 planes is commanded by Lt. B..., a Croat and former pilot of King Peter's Air Force. During the early part of the war was in Africa with the 351st Squadron which was later transfered to Zemunik. He is about 27 years old. The squadron has a total of 40 NCOs and specialists, some of whom are former German soldiers who were captured in Africa and were later transferred tp Tito Partisan Bands.
(2) The Sturmovik squadron with 20 planes is commanded by Croat Captain R..., who served under King Peter and under Pavelic. During the war he was sent to the Eastern Front with a Croat squadron which had been incorporated into the Luftwaffe. He either deserted to or was captured by the Russians and was repatriated before the end of the war. Most of the pilots in the squadron are Croats and former members of the Pavelio Air Force.
(b) The radio station is manned by eight NCO operators under the command of a 2nd lieutenant
(c) The motor pool contains about ten vehicles, an ambulance, and a fire engine which are driven and serviced by a crew of 60 soldiers.
(d) The Service Company comprises about 120 men. Its task is to provide a guard detail for the field and to supervise the work done by German PWs.
(e) There a no anti-aircratf emplacements on or around the field. Several small caliber anti-aircraft guns are stored in the hangars and some of these are placed around the field at night only.
Soruce: CIA RDP82-00457R000600190009-0
Report from 1948 (?)
1. Airfield
Located two kilometers east of Ljubljana on the north side of the Ljubljana-Zagreb railroad line. The field from northwest to southeast is approximately 1.200 meters long, and could easily be enlarged to the west. The average width of the airfield is 500 meters. The field has a capacity of 150 fighter planes, but thus far not more than 70 planes have been stationed on it at one time. Surface of the field is covered with grass and the ground is very hard, with a layer of only 30 cm of earth on a solid conglomerate. The field is surrounded by a barbed wire fence, two meters high. The main guarded entrance is in the northwest corner of the field, and there is a guarded entrance in the south.
2. Airfield altitude
2..7 (figure illegible) meters above sea level.
3. (censored)
4. Aircraft
As of February 1948, 15 captured German training planes, six of which are Fieseler-Storch's, were parked in hangar 315; ten captured German Messerschmitts, type 109, were parked in hangar 316; ... (number illegible) Russian one-engine fighter planes (type unspecified) were parked in hangar 317; and three Russian three-engine passenger or transport planes (type unspecified) and two U.S. four-engine bombers (type unspecified) were parked in hangar 408.
In one of the hangars were ten Fieseler-Storchs and four Junkers JU-88s.
No Soviet airforce personnel or instructores were attached to this airfield as of February 1948.
5. Guard and Anti-Aircraft Defense
Two MG companies equipped with 18 double-barreled Zbrojevka (Czech) machine guns are attached and placed in unspecified locations on the airfield. There are two AA batteries, one located along the Ljubljana-Kamnik railroad line, close to the village of Jezica, and the second on Golovec Hill at a site known as Crni-Hrid.
6. Operations Tower, Reflectors and Sirens
The airfield as a mobile captured German radio goniometer. There is a siren installed on top of each of the two barracks, and two reflectors on the hangar roof. The airfield receives its electrical power from the Slovene State power line.
7. Hangar
The Ljubljana airfield has only one large hangar which was rebuilt by the Italien forces in 1942 after it had been destroyed by the retreating Yugoslavs in 1941. The hangar is approximately 250 x 60 meters and is divided into eight sections. Each section has its own entrance which faces south. Two of the sections are shops for minor aircraft repairs, and another section is used as a deport for spare parts and tools.
8. POL Dump
An unspecified amount of 50-gallon drums are located in the tool and aircraft spare parts depot, while the airfield POL dump is located in the nearby woods about 200 yards north of the hangar.
9. Barracks
Two barracks located on the airfield are one-story brick and wooden buildings. They house approximately 150 personnel each, including pilots and mechanics, as well as the office of the airfield commander. Personnel of the two MG companies who are in charge of guarding the airfield, are billeted about 500 yards northeast of the hangar in three small barracks.
Sketch from 1948
Sketch from 1948
Source: CIA
Enlargement: Good visible are the numbered hangar sections
Source: CIA
Source: CIA RDP82-00457R001400540009-2 (unevaluated information for the research use of trained intelligence analysts)
Ljubljana Airfield - 1 November 1948
a. During 1948, the ground south of the Ljubljana-Zagreb railroad line has been leveled as fas as the Ljubljana-Zalog national highway. An additional area of 750 by 450 meters has thereby been added to the field along the railroad to the south. As of 1 November 1948, this area had not been used for landing of aircraft but was being used as training ground for the Ljubljana garrison. The airfield was also extended to the west to take in an area about 1,000 by 500 meters which had been partly cleared of shrubbery and trees during the Italian occupation.
b. Jakob B... is now deputy airfield commander and political commissar; he is a trained pilot, about 30 years old, born in Ljubljana.
c. On 1 November 1948, there were 20 aircraft of various types on the field, including two Russian PE-2; five I-153; four Sturmovik fighter-bombers; three Spitfires; and three unidentified training planes.
d. An anti-aircraft battery consisting of three guns of Soviet origin, caliber 3.7 centimeters, is located immediately south of the airfield's first-aid station and the railroad track; another battery with three guns, also of Soviet origin, caliber 3.7 centimeters, is located in the village of Hrastje, north of the airfield; a third battery including two quadruple-barrel machine guns of German origin is located at the far southwest end of the field.
e. Two companies of the 1 Battalion of the 2 KNOJ Division guard the field. The men are billeted in the village of Slape, southeast of the field, and are transported by truck to and from the field. An additional company of the 1 Battalion is billeted in the Fusine Castle on the Ljubljanica River, south of the field.
Source: CIA RDP82-00457R002200100006-4, formerly "Secret"
Report from 1949
The Ljubljana airfield has a concrete runway 1500 by 15 meters in area. It has eight hangars, a fuel tank with a capacity of 10,000 hectoliters, equipment for night flying, six squadrons of Yak-9s, one squadron of Spitfires, and three squadrons of P-2. A new runway 40 meters wide by 1,400 meters long is under construction at the field.
Source: CIA RDP80-00809A000600140134-8 (unevaluated information)
Airfield of Ljubljana, September 1949
1 a. The LJUBLJANA (Y 2/D 31) airfield was located three miles east of the town, north of the railroad line to Maribor. Two hangars, a flight control station, a radio station, quarters, and clubhouses were located on its northern border.
1 b. A road led from the airfield to a fuel dump located to the north. The dump had ten trenches on each side of the road. In each of these trenches fifty gasoline barrels were stored in two rows, one above the other. There was also a 5,500 (?) -gallon gasoline tank. The gasoline dump was not camouflaged against air observation.
2.The airfield was occupied by about 30 fighters of Soviet make (single-engine, single rudder assembly; retractable landing gear; trapezoidal wings) and two biplanes. The pilot students were supposed to leave Ljubljana after receiving their basic training.
3. In a woods, located about one mile north of the Zalog railroad station, about 1,25 miles east of the airfield, there was an air force fuel and ammunition dump, about 1,600 x 1,000 feet, surrounded by a barbed wire fence and strictly guarded. There were one wooden shed for the storage of bombs and four semi-underground fuel tanks with a total capacity of 26,500 gallons. Trenches were being excavated for the storage of gasoline barrels. Numerous earth bunkers were filled up with aircraft and anti-aircraft ammunition.
Comment: The statements on the buildings at the Ljubljana airfield agree with previous reports. The existence of a pilot school is reported for the first time. According to previous information, the 423rd Ground Attack Regiment of the 2nd Air Division is assumed to be stationed in Ljubljana. Another ... confirmed the ammunition and fuel dump east of the airfield.
Source: CIA RDP82-00457R003400330004-8

In the 1950s


Ljubljana Polje Airfield, Slovenia on a US map 1959
Ljubljana Polje Airfield on a US map from 1959
Source: Series M501, NL 33-5 (1959), Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin
Airport and airways in 1956
Airport and airways in 1956

Radio communication

  • YUH Direction Finder 3144 kcs + 5485 kcs transmitting; 333 kcs receiving;
  • YUH Radio 3144 kcs, 5485 kcs


Report from February 1951
about the time between 1947 and 1950
1. Between 1947 and August 1950, the Ljubljana (Y 2/D 31) airfield was occupied by about 40 single-engine fighters, 10 to 15 trainer biplanes, one low-wing sports plane, and some gliders. Source stated that the fighters were definitely equipped with in-line engines, a plexiglass cockpit, retractable landing gear, and to cannons which projected from the leading edges of the wings. A red star was painted on the wings and on the sides of the fuselage. The speed was about 400 km/h (1)
2.There was daily flying activity. The fighters usually flew individually, and only occasionally in formations of two planes. No night flights, formation flights with several aircraft, practice firing, air combat or low-level attacks were observed. The biplanes seldom made flights in the vicinity of the airfield (2)
3. One commercial plane, alternately a Ju-52 and Douglas, landed at the field daily. They were flying the Belgrade - Zagreb - Ljubljana line. (3) One single-engine courier plane also landed there daily about 11 a.m.
4. The airfield, which extends along the railroad line, is about 800 to 1,000 x 2,000 meters. There were no taxiways or runways. (4)
5. Two hangars, each about 15 x 100 meters, and one flight control station 10 meteres square and with a windsock, were in the northeastern corner of the field. Numerous quarters and temporary wooden buildings were farther northward and beyond the macadam road. No workshops, depots or spur tracks were seen. (4)
6. The headquarters of all Slovenian Air Force units is allegedly stationed at the field. Many air force officers were seen in the quarters area. (5)
7. Underground concrete bunkers were in the area north of the quarters. Details on their number, type or purpose are not known. (6)
8. Source did construction work in a camp located in the woods northeast of Marija Polju (Y 2/O 41). The camp consisted of four wooden buildings, each 10 x 30 meters, with concrete foundations, concrete floors, and arched roofs. Two additional buildings of the same type were under construction. (7)
(1) The occupation reported agrees with reports of March and December 1948. See ... A rough sketch of the fighters, drawn by the source, indicates that the planes are apparently of a Yak type.
(2) The flying activiy indicates that a pilot school is possibly stationed at the field. See ... This school is believed to have been stationed there until November 1949, since source had the opportunity to observe the field up to that date. The school was possibly still there in August 1950, when source observed the field from the train. Otherwise, source would probably have noticed any essential changes at the field.
(3) According to an international airline guide, dated 14 May 1950, one plane flying the line mentioned lands at the field daily.
(4) The information agrees with previous reports. See ... One hangar is used as a repair hangar. See ... For layout of airfield see Annex.
(5) It is believed that the airfield belongs to the area of the 2nd Airforce Division, the headquarters of which is stationed in Zagreb. It is doubted that the headquarters has been transferred to Ljubljana.
(6) This was previously reported to be a fuel dump. See ...
(7) The camp, the location of which was previously reported, is a large fuel and ammunition dump. See ...
Map of Ljubljana Polje
Source: CIA
AAirfield, about 800 to 1,000 x 2,000 meters
1Two hangars, each about 15 x 100 meters
2Flight control station, 10 meters square, with windsock
3Quarters and temporary wooden buildings in an area about 800 meters long and of undetermined with
4Parking site of courier plane landing at the field daily
6Point where sentry is posted and road blocked
7Fence around airfield
8Sentry box, occupied
BCamp with four buildings, each 10x 30 meters, two other buildings under construction, purpose of camp not known.
CProbably ammunition or fuel dump
ELunatic asylum
FTroop training grounds of unit quartered in cantonment, item D
GRailroad signalman's house
HRoofing paper factory
I"Saturn" canning plant
KChemical plant
Source: CIA RDP82-00457R007300250013-4
Report from 1954
A military and civilian airport is located about eight kilometers east of Ljubljana in the direction of Steinbrueck (... assume that ... one airfield is used for both civilian and military purposes). Three comercial flights of the Yugoslav airline "Aeroput" use the airfield. They are the Ljubljana-Graz-Vienna, Ljubljana-Agram-Belgrade, and the Ljubljana-Susak-Fiume flights.
Four two-engine ...-made bombers and eight single-engine planes have been observed on the airfield (The single-engine planes were believed to be fighters). The four hangars at the airport are used for military purposes. There are several barracks behind the hangars where the flying and ground personnel are quartered. The uniform worn by the military personnel stationed there is gray-blue in color. The officers' uniforms are of a better quality worsted fabric than those of the enlisted men, otherwise their uniforms are alike. Rigid discipline is carried out with the troops stationed there and morale is somewhat below average.
Source: CIA RDP80-00810A004101140007-3

In the 1960s

Radio communication

  • Short wave / CW: YUL 5501 kcs transmitting, 5499 kcs receiving; 2891 kcs transmitting, 2889 kcs receiving
  • YUL Homer 333 kcs, 2891 kcs, 5501 kcs, 118.1 Mcs

In the 1970s


Ljubljana, Slovenia, on a US satellite image 1974
Ljubljana on a US satellite image from 03 June 1974 - 1: Polje airfield
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Ljubljana Polje airfield, Slovenia, 1974
Source: U.S. Geological Survey

In the 1980s


Map of the of the US Department of Defense 1981
The airfield is still shown on this map of the of the US Department of Defense from 1981
Source: ONC F-2 (1981), Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin




Current State

The following Information and images are from Branimir Filovski in June 2019 - Thank you very much, Branimir!
"Tower and terminal have been in very bad shape after closure of airport in 1979. Few years ago a renovation started and they demolished the tower and terminal and then reconstructed and build new ones. They were completed about three weeks ago. A cafeteria is located in the terminal and inside the tower is a museum of Slovenian aviation. There are shops and factories located where old airport was."
Control tower at Ljubljana Polje Airport, Slovenia
Control tower
Source: Branimir Filovski
Control tower
Source: Branimir Filovski
Parking lot at the old Ljubljana airport.
Parking lot with yellow guidelines like on an airport taxiway.
Source: Branimir Filovski



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