ATom Transportation

Below is a rundown of the car rental/personal transportation plan for each of the ATom-3 field sites.
With the exception of Palmdale, ESPO is making rental car reservations for the ATom team where car transportation is necessary (one rental car for every two people in the science team). Individuals will pay for their own rentals. 
  • Palmdale - If you are part of the deployment team departing for Anchorage from Palmdale, we recommend that you rent a car from Avis or Budget at either LAX or BUR when you arrive to the area. There are Avis and Budget locations that share a parking lot with both the Residence Inn and the Courtyard in Palmdale. You should arrange to return your cars to these Palmdale branches prior to the PMD - ANC flight. We will run shuttles to B703 from the Courtyard/Residence parking lot the morning of the flight to Anchorage. We also recommend that you arrange to pick up cars from this Avis/Budget branch upon your return to Palmdale on October 26.
  • Anchorage - ESPO will make car rental reservations for the Science Team at Anchorage International (the DC-8 team will make their own reservations). For ATom-3, we will utilize three different car rental agencies, hopefully reducing the wait times at the rental counter. After arrival, all personnel will be transported to the Anchorage International rental car center via Pegasus Aviation Services shuttle buses. On the day of departure, all people who need to return cars will be picked up outside the rental car center (past the line of taxis) by a Pegasus shuttle and brought to the aircraft.
  • Kona - ESPO has made arrangements for the Science Team through Enterprise at Kona International (the DC-8 team will make their own reservations). Cars will be left plane side upon arrival and can be left at the Air Services Hawaii parking lot upon departure.
  • Fiji - For ATom-3, ESPO has arranged a shuttle service to take people to and from the airport. We will provide details on the shuttle schedule as we get closer to the campaign. If you would still like to rent a car, we recommend making your booking through either Avis ( or Budget ( Both companies have counters at the airport that are open 24/7.
  • Christchurch - The Sudima Christchurch Airport Hotel is directly across the street from the USAP Building, which is where ATom will be staged. No car rentals are necessary.
  • Punta Arenas - Upon arrival, ESPO has arranged a shuttle service to take people to the hotel from the airport. The shuttles will stay for about one hour after arrival, but if anyone wishes to stay with the DC-8 or work at the airport for an extended period, they may take a taxi to the hotel. The use of taxis is the most economical mode of transportation around town (especially when people share taxis) and is highly encouraged. If you would like to rent a car you can do so the day after arrival from one of the rental car offices that are close to the hotel. Car rentals are available at the airport, but it would be more convenient and less expensive if everyone planned to take the shuttles to and from the hotel, and share cabs for other activities.
  • Ascension Island - Car rentals are no longer available on Ascension Island. We will have to rely on buses to get to and from the aircraft.
  • Cabo Verde - ESPO is arranging bus transportation to the hotel on arrival and from the hotel on the departure day. Bus schedules will be sent out prior to the DC-8's arrival in Cabo Verde.
  • Terceira Island (Azores) - For ATom-3, ESPO will make car rental reservations for all personnel. We will utilize three different car rental agencies, hopefully reducing the wait times at the rental counter. All people with cars must register their vehicles at the Lajes ID office adjacent to the base entrance the morning after arrival. The ID office is open at 08:00.
  • Thule - Taxi services are free, quick and easy to/from anywhere on the base, 24 hrs/day. Walking to from the dining hall to the hangars and to the hotel is the only real option with taxi service always available when very cold. Distance between anywhere on the airfield is within ½ mile.