Flag of the Russian Air Force.svg
Burevestnik, Sakhalin Oblast in Russia
Burevestnik is located in Sakhalin Oblast
Shown within Sakhalin Oblast
Burevestnik is located in Japan
Burevestnik (Japan)
Coordinates44°55′12″N 147°37′18″E / 44.92000°N 147.62167°E / 44.92000; 147.62167Coordinates: 44°55′12″N 147°37′18″E / 44.92000°N 147.62167°E / 44.92000; 147.62167
TypeAir Base
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
OperatorRussian Air Force
Controlled by11th Air and Air Defence Forces Army
Site history
Built1941 (1941)
In use1941 - present
Airfield information
Elevation24 metres (79 ft) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
14/32 2,380 metres (7,808 ft) Concrete

Burevestnik (also Iturup; Japanese: 天寧飛行場, Tennei-hikōjyō) (IATA: BVV, ICAO: UHSB) is a military air base on Iturup Island, Russia, establishing the nation's presence on the disputed South Kuril Islands with the largest airfield in the region. It is also the former Soviet Union's most remote interceptor base. An Army helicopter combat support squadron was also stationed at the airfield in the early 1980s, providing limited fire support and transport capability. Burevestnik's communications and logistics were tied to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and supplies were flown in weekly on Antonov An-12 aircraft.

The base is home to a detachment of the 18th Army Aviation Brigade which flies the Mil Mi-8AMTSh under the 11th Air and Air Defence Forces Army.[1]


During World War II, Burevestnik was a Japanese airfield known as Tennei Airfield.[2] After Soviet re-occupation, as many as 100 aircraft were observed at any given time from 1945 to 1952.[2] By the early 1960s, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 jet fighters from the 308th Fighter Aviation Regiment PVO (IAP) were based at the airfield.[2][3] In 1965, the runway was lengthened from 1930 m (6350 ft) to approximately 2500 m (8200 ft).[2] During the 1970s, it flew Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21bis.[4]

Burevestnik's close proximity to Japan's highly populated Hokkaidō Island, by only 190 km, and to major aviation corridors kept the base in a state of constant alert. In 1968, an American Douglas DC-8 was forced to land here after straying off course in the Seaboard World Airlines Flight 253 incident. In April 1983, Burevestnik's MiG-21s were alerted due to a close approach of American Grumman F-14 Tomcat aircraft but did not take off due to bad weather.[citation needed]

The Soviet Air Force 41st Fighter Aviation Regiment PVO, flying MiG-23MLs (1983–90) and MiG-23MLDs (1990-1994), originally at Sovetskaya Gavan's Postavaya airfield, swapped with the 308th IAP in April 1983, under the control of 40 IAD (1983–86), 24th Air Defence Division (1986–90) and then finally 72nd Air Defence Corps (1990–94).[5] In 1993 the VVS decided to withdraw its 40 MiG-23 aircraft at Burevestnik, and the 41st was disbanded in late 1994.[6][3] The decision was said in the Russian press to come as good news to its pilots, as the failure of the MiG-23's single R-35 turbojet engine would be "the last failure in the pilot's life", and that a ship or submarine would come by three days after the accident at best. The Russian article also described Burevestnik as a bare-base facility, with no hangars, and aircraft "rusting year-round under the open sky".[7]

On 17 September 2014, new Iturup Airport[8] was opened 7 km (4.3 mi) northeast of the town of Kurilsk.[9] After that Burevestnik Airport remains as a military base and a reserve airfield for Iturup.[10]

Airlines and destinations

There is no longer any passenger traffic scheduled after Aurora moved its Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk route to newly opened Iturup Airport.[11]



  1. ^ "Burevestnik (UHSB)". Scramble.nl. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Burevestnik Airfield, 6 June 1965, Document CIA-RDP78T05929A001000060004-0, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC.
  3. ^ a b Lensky & Tsybin 2015, p. 43.
  4. ^ Central Intelligence Agency (1985). Soviet Military Forces in the Far East: National Intelligence Estimate 11-14/40-81, TOP SECRET, declassified 1999. Central Intelligence Agency.
  5. ^ Michael Holm, 41st Fighter Aviation Regiment PVO, accessed 2016.
  6. ^ "News Breaks", Aviation Week and Space Technology, August 2, 1993
  7. ^ I. Kots, "Islands in Shoulderboards: Whom Is the Military Deterring in the Southern Kurils?" Komsomolskaia pravda, July 28, 1992.
  8. ^ "Russia opens new airport on Japan-claimed Etorofu Island off Hokkaido". Japan Times. 18 September 2014.
  9. ^ "AIP Russian Federation - UHSI KURILSK/Iturup" (PDF) (in Russian and English). Federal State Unitary Enterprise Centre of Aeronautical Information. 11 December 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  10. ^ "New airport on Kuril Iturup Island receives first flight". rbth.com. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Aurora - on-line timetable" (in Russian). flyaurora.ru. Archived from the original on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.