- Station Group Banak
name = Station Group Banak
IATA = LKL
ICAO = ENNA
type = Military/Public
Royal Norwegian Air Force
location = Lakselv
elevation-f = 25
elevation-m = 8
coordinates = Coord|70|04|00|N|24|58|26|E|type:airport|display=inline,title
r1-number = 17/35
r1-length-f = 9,134
r1-length-m = 2,784
r1-surface = Asphalt, some concrete
Station Group Banak (Norwegian: Stasjonsgruppe Banak), formerly Banak Air Station, is located in
Porsangerin Finnmark, Norway. It is operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force, which has two Westland Sea Kinghelicopters that are used for search and rescueoperations, mostly over the Barents Sea. The station group is co-located with the civilian Lakselv Airport, Banak. The Sea King helicopters are part of the 330 Squadron located at Sola Air Station. One helicopter is on standby at all times. The air station is administratively under Bodø Main Air Station. The air station is the most northern operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force. 50 people work at Banak.
The first use of Banak as an
airportwas in 1938, when the military constructed a small gravel field diagonal to today's runway. The original runway is still partially visible in areas with little vegetation.
World War IIthe German occupying forces expanded the airport, with hangars, workshops and hospitals in addition to defensive positions. The buildings and installations were destroyed during the German retreat in 1944.
After the war the airport was taken over by the Air Force, but the runway's wooden surface was cannibalized because of material shortage during the reconstruction of
Northern Norway. From 1951 the runway was unusable, and activities temporarily ceased.
Banak Air Station opened again in 1963, along with the other two primary airports in Finnmark,
Alta Airportand Kirkenes Airport, Høybuktmoen. The airport was financed through NATOand in addition to being a military air station was also host to a civilan airport. The air station has since expanded multiple times to meet military and civilian requirements.
West of the air station was the fortification Banak Fort. In 1958 Norway started a self-imposed no fly zone west of 24 degrees east, just west of Banak. Between 1988 and 1995 the Air Force station at
Kautokeinowas administratively under Banak.
[http://www.mil.no/pubs/fnett/forsvarsnett/luft/start/omlf/stasjoner/banak/ Royal Norwegian Air Force page on Station Group Banak] (in Norwegian)
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