Santa Cruz Air Force Base
Base Aérea de Santa Cruz
South door of the hangar built for the Zeppelin at Santa Cruz Air Force Base
|Airport type||Military: Air Force Base|
|Operator||Brazilian Air Force|
|Serves||Rio de Janeiro|
|Commander||Ten. Cel. Av. Luiz Guilherme Silveira de Medeiros|
|Elevation AMSL||3 m / 10 ft|
Santa Cruz Air Force Base – BASC( IATA : SNZ, ICAO : SBSC) is a base of the Brazilian Air Force located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The base was originally called Bartolomeu de Gusmão Airport and it was constructed to handle the operations with the rigid airships Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg . Between 1931 and 1937, Deutsche Luft Hansa had regular flights between Germany and Brazil, with Rio de Janeiro as final stop. For this reason Luftschiffbau Zeppelin decided to construct a dedicated facility and move its operations from Campo dos Afonsos Airport. km away among other structures. Some of the buildings are still in use, particularly the hangar which was built to accommodate the rigid airships. Because it is the only original surviving hangar built for rigid airships in the world, on 14 March 1999, it was listed as a National Heritage Site.The airport was inaugurated on 26 December 1936. The whole complex consisted of an airfield, the hangar, a hydrogen factory and a branch-line connecting the complex to the main railway line to downtown Rio de Janeiro 54
As a consequence to the Hindenburg disaster on 6 May 1937 at Lakehurst Air Naval Station in New Jersey, US, the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin requested to the Brazilian Government on 17 June 1937 the suspension of services. Since then no more civil operations were handled at this facility.
On 12 February 1942, six months before Brazil declaring war against the Axis, the airport became a base of the Brazilian Air Force. The name of the facility was changed to Santa Cruz Air Force Base on 16 January 1943.
On 3 May 1982 a British Avro Vulcan bomber was intercepted by the aircraft of the 1° Grupo de Aviação de Caça (1ºGAvCa) based at Santa Cruz. The Vulcan had finished the Operation Black Buck 6 during the Falklands War and was returning to Ascension Island when it suffered technical problems. It was intercepted upon entering Brazilian airspace and made to land at the Galeão Air Force Base. The Brazilian aircraft flew back to Santa Cruz having successfully accomplished the first interception mission in their history.
The following units are based at Santa Cruz Air Force Base:
Subordinated to the command of the 2nd Air Force (II FAe), which is dedicated to Search and Rescue, Rotorary Wings, and Maritime Patrol:
Subordinated to the command of the 3rd Air Force (III FAe), which is dedicated to Reconnaissance, Attack, and Combat:
Subordinated to the command of the Department of Airspace Control (DECEA), which is dedicated to the control of the Brazilian Airspace:
Additionally, the base has one U-7A (Embraer EMB 810 Seneca) and two U-42 (Neiva Regente) for administrative missions.
The base is located 54 km from Rio de Janeiro downtown in the district of Santa Cruz.
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