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    Lajes "Bullrun" Landing Zone

    Lajes "Bullrun" Landing Zone

    Photo By Ricky Baptista | A Portuguese Air Force (PoAF) C-130 lands on runway 28 at Lajes Field, Azores,...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    65th Air Base Group

    LAJES FIELD, Azores — The culmination of three years of effort by the 65th Air Base Group, U.S. Air Force and Azores Air Zone Command, Portuguese Air Force came to fruition, Oct. 21, 2020.

    A joint ceremony marked the official opening of the Permanent Lajes Landing Zone, affectionately known as the Lajes “Bullrun” Landing Zone.
    The ceremony was hosted by PoAF Brig. Gen. João Pereira, Commander of the Azores Air Zone and U.S. Air Force Col. Tammy Hinskton, 65th ABG commander.

    The LZ is located on runway 10/28, which had been deactivated for operational reasons for over three decades. Its reactivation began with a proposal submitted by the 65th ABG through the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon to the government of Portugal.
    After much deliberation regarding the implications and possibilities, the request needed to be analyzed and evaluated especially in regard to overall safety of air operations at Lajes Field.

    “Specially, the runway 28 approach creates a training scenario accounting for extreme wind conditions as the aircraft approaches from over the Atlantic Ocean,” Hinskton said. “This feat requires great skill on the part of the aircrew. The main skill assessed during an assault is a pilot’s ability to control the plane down to a precise point of touchdown, in a wide range of weather conditions – all of which can be experienced in the same day on the island.”

    After all due diligence, the request was approved by the Portuguese Ministry of National Defense and certified by the Portuguese National Aeronautical Authority. An Operations Letter was signed between AAZC and the 65th ABG establishing the operating procedures governed by guidelines established by the International Civil Aviation Organization, NATO and NAA.

    This OL includes the identification of a Landing Zone Safety Officer, whose responsibility is to operate on site and ensure the safe and efficient operation of aircraft whenever the LZ is activated. The LZSO function will be performed jointly by fully qualified and trained PoAF and U.S. Air Force air traffic controllers at Lajes Field.

    “The LZ operations allow for tactical aircrews to utilize C-130 and C-17 performance capabilities to land on small surfaces in austere locations,” Hinskton said. “In these austere, underdeveloped locations, assault landings are necessary in order to move critical supplies to further develop forward operating bases or to support contingency operations in the region.”

    It is important to note that the LZ operation will always be secondary to military and civil air traffic operating on runways 15/33, which will always be a priority.

    The asphalt and concrete LZ has a total length of 3,063 feet and width of 90 feet.

    For more information, call the 65th Air Base Group public affairs office at +351-295-57-6161 or email



    Date Taken: 10.27.2020
    Date Posted: 11.04.2020 10:00
    Story ID: 382344
    Location: LAJES FIELD, 20, PT 

    Web Views: 208
    Downloads: 1