Smooth Landings Ahead at Lajes

The Air Force and Portugal’s defense ministry are teaming to repave the 10,870 foot runway, taxiways, and associated overruns at Lajes Air Base in the Azores. The last time they were resurfaced was back in 1987. Workers have already completed the runway overruns. The next phase—repaving the civil side of the airport—is set to begin March 1. Resurfacing the military runway will follow. The 65th Air Base Wing’s civil engineering, contracting, and support squadrons are carrying out the project, which entails applying 3.5 million square feet of new asphalt in total. Lajes flight operations are expected to continue uninhibited thanks to a temporary airfield lighting system that workers have set up. USAF and the Portuguese military are splitting the costs of the $7 million project, with the Portuguese throwing in $1.26 million. It’s the first-ever cost-sharing arrangement for Lajes. (Lajes report by 1st Lt. Alyson Busch)