Aerodrome Spilve

Aerodrome Spilve, previous names - Spilve Airport or Airport of Riga (1928-1940), later the Riga Central Airport, was the main airport of Riga city until the new airport "Riga" was commissioned in 1975, and it still retains its role in Latvian aviation. Now Spilve supports mainly private and training flights. Currently, the airfield may be used for aircraft with maximum take-off weight of 5.7 tons.


Spilve Airport was first used as early as World War I. In 1922-1926 "Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme" operated flights on Berlin –  Königsberg – Kaunas (or Klaipeda /Memel) – Riga line. From 1928, regular commercial flights of German-Soviet Deruluft linked Spilve with Berlin via  Königsberg, Moscow via Smolensk and Leningrad via Tallinn. From 1932 Polish LOT connected Spilve to Warsaw via Vilnius and to Helsinki via Tallinn. In 1936 German Lufthansa started flights Berlinn -  Königsberg - Kaunas- Riga_ Tallinn - Helsinki. In 1937 Swedish Aerotransport (A.B.A.) and Soviet Aeroflot started a route Stockholm - Riga - Velikiye Luki - Moscow. In 1937-1940 Latvian Valsts Gaisa Satiksme had regular flights from Spilve to Liepaja.

After world War II and the Soviet occupation, it was rebuilt as the hub for Aeroflot. A new ring taxiway was added and the tarmac changed. The terminal building still remains as a notable example of neoclassical architecture. The airfield was closed for regular flights in the late 1980s.

A large technical school existed here until the 1990s with one of each major Soviet aircraft type, including Ilyushin Il-18, Ilyushin II-62 and Tupolev Tu-134, most broken up around 1996 or 1997.

Current use

The airfield at Spilve is now published in the Latvian pilot's guide "VFR Guide Latvia". A new (third) hangar has now been built housing up to 5 aircraft (ultralights and aerobatic aircraft) complementing the two existing hangar buildings. The larger hangar seen on satellite imagery being used to house up to 12 aircraft ranging from ultralight to Cessna 210, while a second hangar to the north east is used for ultralights and flex-wing microlights.

Riga Spilve is being increasingly used as a base for training private pilots.

The terminal building is currently being turned into the Latvian Aviation Museum.