Luhansk International Airport

"Международный аэропорт Луганск"
The terminal of Luhansk airport after the battle ended in September of 2014.
The terminal of Luhansk airport after the battle ended in September of 2014.
Airport typePublic
OperatorCivil Government
LocationLuhansk, Ukraine
Elevation AMSL636 ft / 194 m
Coordinates48°25′4.8″N 39°22′26.4″E / 48.418000°N 39.374000°E / 48.418000; 39.374000
VSG is located in Ukraine
Location of Luhansk Airport in Ukraine
Direction Length Surface
ft m
9/27 9,318 2,840 Asphalt concrete
9/27 8,202 2,500 Soil

Luhansk International Airport (Международный аэропорт Луганск) was an airport in Luhansk, Ukraine (IATA: VSG, ICAO: UKCW). The airport was located 20 km (12 miles) south of the city center, 9 km to the city limit. Since 11 June 2014, the airport has been officially closed.[1] It was mostly destroyed during the war in Donbas.


The history of Luhansk Airport begins in 1946, when in order to improve service in the regions, the Ukrainian SSR began work on the 285th aviation division at the site.

Luhansk Airport opened in 1964, with its construction accelerated by the involvement of multiple organizations in the Luhansk region.

Luhansk Airport when it was operated by the Soviet Air Force, prior to the opening to the public in 1964.

In 1974 the airport established the 99th flying division including 6 AN-24 planes, and since 1989, 2 TU–154–B2 planes. By the 1980s there were 100 daily departures, going to almost 70 cities of the Soviet Union, transporting at least 1200 passengers.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 2005-2006, the airport and runway were reconstructed, allowing it to take AN-124 aircraft, Airbus A320’s, and Boeing 737’s. By 2013, there were regular scheduled flights to Kyiv, Moscow, and even charter flights to Turkey and Greece.

An ATR 42 parked at Lugansk Airport, with the terminal visible in the background.

In 2022, Russia reportedly set up a helicopter base on the site of former Luhansk International Airport. [2]

Airlines and destinations

From December 2009 to its closure in 2014, Luhansk International Airport was a base airport of the Ukrainian airline UTair-Ukraine.[3]

Other airlines such as Ukraine International Airlines and Motor Sich Airlines also operated into Luhansk airport.

Defunct Ukrainian Airline Lugansk Airlines was based out of the airport before it declared bankruptcy in 2010.

Tavrey Airlines had operated into Luhansk Airport but declared bankruptcy in 2008.

Closure and destruction

Due to the pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine, airports in the Donbas region were closed, including: Mariupol, Donetsk, and Luhansk. As of April of 2014, Ukrainian forces were stationed there as part of the Anti-Terrorist Operation against the Luhansk People’s Republic. A fierce battle for the airport started on June 8, 2014, when Ukrainian forces were blockaded at the site by LPR forces. On June 11, the airport was officially closed. The Ukrainian Military attempted to create an air bridge to supply the besieged forces using 3 Il-76’s from the 25th Transport Aviation Brigade, in which one Ilyushin Il-76 (Registration: 76777) was shot down on June 14, 2014, resulting in the deaths of 49 Ukrainians.

On the night of September 1, the last remaining Ukrainian soldiers left the ruined airport, after 146 days of defending. On September 4, the airport finally fell to the separatists. The airport terminal had been completely demolished by 2015, and eventually in 2019, a road was built over the rubble, where a museum of Luhansk People's Republic military equipment now sits on the runway.[4]

Main Entrance of Luhansk airport after the battle.

As of August 2023, the Russian Air Force has begun basing Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopters at the airport apron and runway, to help support its troops its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.[5][6]

On October 17, 2023, as a part of Operation Dragonfly, the Ukrainian military struck the airport with MGM-140 ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles , leading to the destruction of multiple helicopters of the Russian Air Force.[7]

Accidents and incidents

See also


  1. ^ Three airports in the East Ukraine closed until better times Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Ukrinform. 19 June 2014
  2. ^ "Russia set up two helicopter bases in the Luhansk region". 26 August 2022. Retrieved 23 July 2023.
  3. ^ UTair-Ukraine started flights. Avianews. 12 December 2009
  4. ^ "Аэропорт Луганск (VSG) – история, рейсы, интересные факты". (in Russian).
  5. ^ "Russia uses Luhansk airport as base for Ka-52 and Mi-28 helicopters| Espreso". Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  6. ^ "Russia uses the Luhansk Airport, Which Has been Inactive Since 2014, to Base Ka-52 and Mi-28 Helicopters (Photo) | Defense Express". Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  7. ^ "Ukraine uses US-supplied ATACMS for the first time, says Zelensky". BBC News. 17 October 2023. Retrieved 21 March 2024.

Media related to Lugansk Airport at Wikimedia Commons