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Jan Mayensfield

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Jan Mayensfield
Airport type Military
Operator Norwegian Armed Forces
Location Olonkinbyen, Jan Mayen, Norway
Elevation AMSL 39 ft / 12 m
Coordinates 70°57′40″N 008°34′33″W / 70.96111°N 8.57583°W / 70.96111; -8.57583Coordinates: 70°57′40″N 008°34′33″W / 70.96111°N 8.57583°W / 70.96111; -8.57583
ENJA is located in Europe
Location on a map of Europe
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06–24 1,500 4,921 Dirt

Jan Mayensfield (ICAO: ENJA) is an aerodrome serving Olonkinbyen in Jan Mayen, Norway. Operated by the Norwegian Armed Forces, it serves the island's only population at the combined military and meteorological station. It has a 1,500-meter (4,921 ft) dirt runway numbered 06–24.

The airfield was built in connection with the LORAN-C transmitter at Olonkinbyen and was completed in 1960. Jan Mayensfield is served eight times per year by Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft of the 335 Squadron from Bodø Main Air Station, which provide supplies and change crew at the outpost. The nearby Beerenberg volcano can cause a Kármán wind, which creates difficult landing conditions.


North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Norwegian Armed Forces started construction of a military communications outpost at Olonkinbyen in 1958. At first a LORAN-A transmitter was built,[1] followed by a LORAN-C transmitter in 1960.[2] [3] In August, it was announced that the island would receive an airfield to allow continual operation of the transmitter.[4] Originally, the aerodrome consisted of a 1,200 by 30 metres (3,937 by 98 ft) section of the island's dirt road. This was chosen to reduce the bureaucracy of construction. The first aircraft to land was a Consolidated PBY Catalina of the Royal Norwegian Air Force on 17 September 1960.[5]

Map which includes the location of the airfield

The first civilian aircraft was a Douglas DC-4 operated by Braathens SAFE, which landed with some journalists on board on 29 October 1961.[5] Other early aircraft operating to Jan Mayen were the Grumman HU-16 Albatross and the Douglas DC-6.[6] The head officer of the Norwegian military's communications division was later criticized by Chief of Defence Bjarne Øen, who concluded: "Gentlemen, I will not have any construction of airports on Norwegian soil by the Communications Division without the plans being presented to the Central Command."[5]

In 1970, a sudden eruption in Beerenberg forced the immediate evacuation of the station. A Hercules was dispatched to the island and successfully landed on the strip. Thereafter the Hercules became the regular military aircraft at Jan Mayen.[7] Aircraft gradually took over more of the transport to the island, and from 1973 all supplies except diesel and special freight was transported by ship.[5] From 1975 the 333 Squadron would occasionally drop mail and supplies using the P-3 Orion as a supplement to the landings of the Hercules.[8]


Jan Mayensfield's single regular service is the Royal Norwegian Air Force's Lockheed C-130 Hercules,[9] which operate to the island eight times per year.[10] The aircraft are part of the 335 Squadron, based at Gardermoen Air Station,[9] although the flights from Jan Mayen operate from Bodø Main Air Station.[11] The runway is not open for commercial traffic,[12] although it can be used for research and search and rescue operations.[6]

The dirt runway is 1,500 by 30 meters (4,921 by 98 ft) being aligned 06–24.[13] Jan Mayensfield has variable weather conditions, a lot of fog and often has a Kármán wind. The Kármán wind is created in the wake of the Beerenberg volcano, resulting in regular vortex streets and lee-waves. This can cause sudden change to the wind direction on the island.[6]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

In 1991, a C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Royal Norwegian Air Force almost crashed after take off due to Karman wind suddenly shifting.[6]

A WWII plane crash site is also near the airfield. [14]


  1. ^ Barr (1991): 236
  2. ^ Barr (1991): 245
  3. ^
  4. ^ Barr (1991): 247
  5. ^ a b c d Barr (1991): 245
  6. ^ a b c d "Airfield" (in Norwegian). 9 April 2006. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Arheim (1994): 132
  8. ^ Arheim (1994): 116
  9. ^ a b "Gamle, men gode transportfly" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Armed Forces. 31 October 2002. Archived from the original on 23 April 2004. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "Jan Mayens historie" (in Norwegian). County Governor of Nordland. 1 June 2007. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Barr (1991): 254
  12. ^ "How to visit Jan Mayen" (in Norwegian). 9 October 2006. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Jan Mayen, Jan Mayensfield" (in Norwegian). Norske Flyplasser. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  14. ^


  • Arheim, Tom; Hafsten, Bjørn; Olsen, Bjørn; Thuve, Sverre (1994). Fra Spitfire til F-16: Luftforsvaret 50 år 1944–1994 (in Norwegian). Oslo: Sem & Stenersen. ISBN 82-7046-068-0. 
  • Barr, Susan (1991). Jan Mayen (in Norwegian). Oslo: Schibsted. ISBN 82-516-1353-1.