Airport Konarzyny, Korne, Sąpolno. 2021

Military alternate airport Konarzyny.

Konarzyny airport on the map of Poland
Konarzyny airport on the map of Poland

Konarzyny airport. 2021. The work by Karol Placha Hetman
Konarzyny airport. 2021. The work by Karol Placha Hetman

Geographical coordinates 53°49'31.0"N 17°21'10.0"E. Geographical coordinates 53.825278, 17.352778.

Nomenclature of individual airports, especially alternate airports, has been and still presents some difficulties. Usually, the airport was given the name of the poviat town in which it was located. But it could also receive the name of the neighboring town, because there was a post office there, more precisely a post office and a telephone exchange. Therefore, for a given airport there could be two, and sometimes even three names. For example, the Konarzyny backup airport was also known as Sąpolno or Chojnice. However, in the nomenclature of the Polish Army, there was always one name for a given airport, and so Konarzyny airport is listed in the documents as Sąpolno. Nowadays, some municipalities admit to having ties with former airports, which is sometimes manifested in street names. Then in these places we can find the name of Lotnicza or Spadochronowa Street.

Konarzyny Airport (Korne, Sąpolno) is only 30 km east of the Pieniężnica Airport and, like that airport, has never had a host in the form of an air regiment that would be based here permanently. Therefore, it was an alternate airport.

Konarzyny Airport is located in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, in the Chojnice Poviat, in the Konarzyny Commune. The airport was built in the period 1951-1956, when nearly 40 military airports were built in Poland. Konarzyny airport does not have a good location. It was built near a few villages in a typically agricultural area. Only from the north side of the airport there is a small forest. All the necessary elements of the airport infrastructure were placed in the forest. The total area of ​​the airport is 250 hectares. Elevation 490 ft (149 m). Człuchów is 18 km from the airport, 22 km to Chojnice, 50 km to Szczecinek, 50 km to Bytów.

Konarzyny Airport has one main RWY, with dimensions of 2,300 m x 30 m, which is located in the direction 074/254. Asphalt-concrete surface. From the south, an emergency runway (RWY) with a unpaved surface (grass) was marked out. Parallel to the RWY from the north there is a main taxiway. The taxiway is connected to the RWY by five connectors. Two PPS are located on the main taxiway; eastern and western. Each PPS is 50 m x 200 m (10,000 m2). All surfaces are concrete and asphalt.

In the north-eastern part of the airport there is a centering zone for planes. The stands are ground-level surrounded by embankments on three sides.

The main administrative and barracks were placed in the center of the forest. Currently (2021) there is a horse stud here. The airport was never fenced. There was no railway siding connected to the airport, but the railway line No. 413 ran nearby.

History of Konarzyny Airport.

In 1963, the 32nd Tactical Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment, which was permanently based in Sochaczew, was designated as the host of the reserve Konarzyny Airport. Around 1980, the 9th Fighter Aviation Regiment, which was permanently based in Dębrzno, became the host of the reserve Konarzyny Airport. After the disbandment of the 9th Fighter Aviation Regiment in 1989, the airport in Konarzyny was left without a host. The airport was transferred to the Military Property Agency. Was it considered whether the object was to remain aviation character? Ultimately, the requirement to maintain the aviation character of the facility was abandoned.

Around 2000, Konarzyny Airport was purchased by the German company "M and V Marketing i Dystrybucja". The value of the transaction was PLN 7 million. The plans were not extensive, as there was going to be a wind farm at the airport. In 2004, the company went bankrupt and did nothing at the airport. The facility was taken over by the Przechlewo Commune (217 hectares) and Konarzyny Commune (32 hectares), because the company was in arrears with taxes. The company temporarily leased the land to farmers for pastures and meadows. The lease has expired and the farmers continued to use the land. Buildings that were owned by the army, and then companies, were destroyed. The property was taken over by the trustee for too long. The authorities of Chojnice, which wanted to launch General Aviation air traffic here, showed interest in the facility. In the records of the Civil Aviation Authority, the airport is still treated as an airstrip, but no codes have been assigned. The former RWY is a fragment of a public road, but with little traffic. If necessary, an emergency landing is possible, but on RWY you can meet tires and heaps of sand after illegal car rallies.

In 2005, a private person, an entrepreneur from Chojnice, bought a part of the former airport (administrative and barracks facilities) and opened a stable here. 60-100 horses are bred in the stable. The owner plans to include a hotel and restaurant. Ultimately, the entrepreneur bought the entire area (250 hectares) for PLN 1,300,000. Part of the former field of rise is to be parceled out for plots of land built and sold. The entrepreneur organizes annual harvest festivals and other mass events at the airport, such as exhibitions of horses and agricultural equipment.

Railway line No. 413.

Konarzyny airport and railway lines. 2021. The work by Karol Placha Hetman
Konarzyny airport and railway lines. 2021. The work by Karol Placha Hetman

There was no railway siding reaching the Konarzyny Airport. However, near the airport there is currently (2021) an unused railway line No. 413 with two railway stations close to the airport: Przechlewo and Sąpolno. It was from these railway stations that building material and other goods were delivered to the airport.

The railway line No. 413 connected the Człuchów station (railway line No. 210) with the Słosinko stop and was 55 km long. It was established in 1902. The trail was single-track, not electrified. In 2006, part of the Słosinko-Przechlewo line was demolished, along with the railway siding to the Pieniężnica Airport. Part of the Przechlewo-Człuchów line, 25 km long, exists until now (2021), but is not used. In Przechlewo the track ends with a resistance trestle in front of the local road. Passenger traffic on this section was completed in 2004. From time to time, the Chojnice Association of Railway Enthusiasts organized a special train ride on this route for railway enthusiasts.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman