The Yanji Longjing Airbase is one of the "secret" Landmarks of the City of Yanji and is treated as such. Locally it goes completely unmentioned and even on the worldwide web there is no information available on the Base, its history or its assigned personal and aircraft.
In general it can be said that today Longjing Airbase has been converted into a dual use military and civilian airport, the civilian part of which has been dubbed Yanji Chaoyangchuan Airport. The Longjing Airbase takes up the eastern sections of the airfield.
Other aircraft may be sheltered in bunkers around the airfield. There are rumors on the internet that Longjing Airbase is also home to some of China's advanced Su-27 jet fighters.
Regular air activity can be observed at the Longjing Airbase. Sometimes one or two jets streak low over Yanji City circulating around the airfield. It appears as though most flights are training flights in the available Chengdu J-7 Mig 21 Jet fighet copies.
The Longjing Airbase is situated on the south bank of the Bu'Er Hatong River and forms one of the southern limitations of the "new" southern district of the City. The Longjing Airbase is bordered by
Glimpses of the buildings of Yanji Longjing Airbase from Changbaishan West Road. A radar dome stands on the peculiarly shaped hill "hidden" behind the telephone pole.
Chaoyangchuan Airport to the west and by (among things) the Main Train Station (Yanji Zhan) to the east. Along the north side leads the Changbaishan West Road, but a railroad track and farmlands lie between the road and the perimeter of the base. From the north no access road seems to lead to the Base (except via Chaoyangchuan Airport). From a Distance one can make out a collection of buildings, some airport related facilities, an iron watchtower and some barbed wire fencing and stakes.
On the south side of the base (see photo below) lies yet more farmland surrounding the base, after which forested hills slowly begin to rise. Almost all of this is undeveloped terrain which seems to be kept that way on purpose. In the south east corner of the base lies the Yanbian
Trade International Golf Driving Range. Just a short distance to the east stands the Yanbian Hotel.
LONGJING AIRBASE - DIRECTIONS & HOW TO GET THERE:
The Longjing Airbase - no directions available.
HISTORY OF LONGJING AIRBASE:
Longjing Airbase seems to have been first established during the summer of 1951, at the height of air war over Korea between the United States Air Force and the Chinese and Russian Air Forces, the latter of whom participated only in complete secrecy. At the time, China was advancing within Korean territory,
AIRPLANE SPOTTING AT YANJI LONGJING AIRBASE:
In China photographing of "sensitive" military objects and installations is not allowed. Not for Chinese citizens and certainly not for nosey foreigners. It is forbidden under the Law. Officially therefor you are advised not to take the risk.
However, understandably you may be tempted regardless. Best observations are made while taxiing for take off or after landing on Yanji Chaoyangchuan Airport.
If you insist on spotting military aircraft anyway, your best and safest shot is to observe from a location somewhere along the long and not so busy Changbaishan West Road. A railroad and several farm fields lie between the road and the grounds of the airbase, but at least you will be on a public road, yet within eye sight.
Mind you: The local citizenry is not necessarily foreigner friendly, so even though the road may seem abandoned, count on someone watching you from a distance. As for the road, no photography of airplanes landing and taking off is allowed from the road either. You will find the local police bored, under educated and not in the mood for any leniency. Do not take photographs in front of their noses, or suffer the consequences. At the very least you will be forced to erase the photos on the spot.
Carrying about a camera with tele-lens is sure to arrouse suspicion and the local police may descend on you within a short time. Perhaps its better to leave this at base for the time being.
Warning: Do not go snooping around the airbase and try to find "alternative approaches". One might take great photos from the hills along the south side of the base, but this is all private farmland and forest. Sure enough the area is secured and contains several sensitive installations. Showing up in this area as a foreigner is bound to raise eye brows. Especially when one whips out a flashy digital camera or video recorder. Considering Longjing Airbase is still a secretive base along the super-sensitive border with North Korea (D.P.R.K.). there is a low tolerance for anyone seen as "spying about".
Consider yourself warned.
View of brracks and buildings of Longjing Airbase In the background rolling hills with dense pine forestation.
Risks: Arrest for spying on China, jail time, deportation and black-listing or even worse.
View across farm fields of the Longjing Airbase where three fighter jets stand on the flight line.
YouTube Video: Lavochkin LA-9 Fighter - Brief information and history.
however, a lack of air bases within range, left the Chinese air force unable to provide air cover or air support to Chinese troops in the field in Korea. As a result of incessant American bombing no airfield could be made operational within Korean territory, at which time the Chinese side resorted to the creation of military airfields as close to the border as possible. The Longjing Airbase is situated at only a few miles from (North) Korean air space. The base was opened in 1952 AD according to Chinese sources, after which it became the home base for 20 Chinese LA-9 Fighter planes. The La-9 (Lavochkin) was a piston engined figher plane that was produced by Russia in the years shortly after World War 2. It was renowned for its ability to operate in the rough, especially in the low temperatures prevailing along the North Korean border. The LA-9's were replaced by more modern aircraft in 1959 AD.
In March and April of 2013 while tension between the United States and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) ran to a highpoint after North Korean missile launches and threats of attack and nuclear war on the United States of
America increased air activity was reported along the border with North Korea and in Hebei and Liaoning Provinces of China (P.R.C.). Jets were seen streaking over Yanji and other towns and villages in Yanbian. At the same time troop movement, and the appearance of armoured vehicles was reported from Baishan Prefecture. Other places along the border reported similar activities.