Chkalovsky Airport (IATA: CKL, ICAO: UUMU), is a military airport base near Shchyolkovo, Moscow Oblast, Russia. It is located 31 km northeast of Moscow. Chkalovsky provides air support for Star City, Russia, Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center, and other elements of the Soviet space program and Russian Federal Space Agency. It is also a major transport base, with the 8th Special Purpose Aviation Division (since 2009-10, the 6991st Air Base) operating the Antonov An-12, An-72, Tupolev Tu-154, Ilyushin Il-76, and Il-86VKP. Chkalovsky received USSR's first Il-76K for cosmonaut training on 23 July 1977.
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As part of the August 2008 Andy March Moscow Aviation tour we visited this large base. It's a 1,5 hours drive from Moscow ring roads. Upon arrival we had to wait about an hour in the woods near a secondary gate. We then got permission to enter the base. Several military officers joined us inside the bus. We were given strict instructions not to photograph and buildings, infrastructure and any aircrafts on the active ramps. It was very painful to see very interesting Russian hardware and able to take any snapshots. We then drove across the main runway to the far end for the semi parking and storage area. Once outside another set of instructions were issued: and we were not aloud to point our long range lenses towards the main base! I would like to give a big thanks to our lovely Russian tour leader who works together with Aeroprints: Olga Bogoyavlenskaya. She really made the long bus rides a memorable occasion with her typical Russian tourist information and jokes. Check out her website: www.rusadventure.com