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Fort Zancudo

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Fort Zancudo
Airport summary
Airport type Military
Location Lago Zancudo
Owner United States Air Force
Runways 2
Current condition Active

Fort Zancudo is a United States Airforce base located in the Lago Zancudo swamps, near Mount Josiah in Blaine County, San Andreas. It is featured in Grand Theft Auto V. It closely resembles the real-life Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. However, based off of its geographical location, it is also possible that it is based off of the real life Naval Base Ventura County, especially considering the real life base's proximity to a marshy area called Mugu Lagoon, which bears a striking resemblance to Lago Zancudo. Fort Zancudo is the only military base in GTA V and the only known military base in the HD Universe so far.



Satellite Image of Fort Zancudo and surrounding areas.

Fort Zancudo is neighbored by Mount Josiah to the northeast and bordered by the Zancudo River towards the south as well as the Great Ocean Highway on the west. The base serves as a military-operated airfield and munitions depot for the United States Airforce. Interestingly enough, there also seems to be US Marines operating in the base, as the base's occupants will often yell "Semper Fi!" or "I'm a fucking Marine!" when in combat, the former of which is the Marine Corps motto. This could hint that Fort Zancudo is shared by different branches of the military, like many real life US military bases. Fort Zancudo is heavily guarded and protected, with high, anti-scale fencing stretched along the perimeter. The two access roads that join the base to the outside world are controlled by checkpoints. Armed guards sprawl within the base, with frequent partols in either Rhinos or Crusaders. The airspace as well is patrolled by P-996 Lazers and Cargobobs. The fort features one main airstrip, one secondary airstrip (about the size of a ski jump runway), one large hangar, a few smaller hangars, a munitions depot, a fire and rescue station, a refinery, an air traffic control tower, a main office and some barracks. Fort Zancudo holds military vehicles such as the Rhino TankCargobob, Buzzard Attack Chopper, P-996 LAZER, and the Titan.


Like Area 69, Fort Zancudo is a restricted air base. If the player flies over the area, the player will receive a 2-star wanted level and an air traffic controller will warn the player via radio to immediately divert course and leave the airspace, giving warnings such as: "This is a no fly zone. Divert your course or you will be shot down." or "You have entered Fort Zancudo Air Space. Divert immediately".

If the player chooses to ignore the warnings and continues flying over the base, the player will gain a 4-star wanted level and lock-on missiles will shoot the player down, regardless of position, about 10 seconds after the warning is given.

Should the player enter the base on the ground, a 4-star wanted level will be received and the base alarm siren will go off. Armed soldiers, Rhinos, and aerial patrols will shoot on sight.

Even if you are using a military vehicle, the guards will still shoot you, should they see you.




Mission appearances

GTA Online


  • Fort Zancudo is only featured in one mission in GTA V if the offshore plan of the Merryweather Heist is chosen.
  • Fort Zancudo and Los Santos Airport are not useable in Deathmatch Creator. In fact, they are the only locations off limits.
  • If the player chooses the Freight plan for the Merryweather Heist, Fort Zancudo is not featured once in the GTA V.
  • Ironically, if the player steals a military vehicle from the base, the police will give chase instead of the military, due to the Posse Comitatus Act.
  • Zancudo is Spanish for a malarial mosquito.
  • Using a vehicle from the Super class or any motorcycle will sometimes allow the player to pass through the front checkpoint unnoticed, depending on which direction the guard is facing. Once passed, an entrance to a trench that surrounds the entire base can be found immediately to the right. Navigating the trench will not trigger a wanted level; it is recommended that the player quick saves at this point. Throughout the trench are several exits, with one behind the landing strip where two P-996 Lazers spawn. Once the player exits the trench, they can move throughout the base unnoticed for about ten seconds before the alarm is triggered. This gives the player a significant headstart if they intend to hijack a military vehicle, as the authorities' response times are delayed. It should be noted that if helicopters spawn, the player will be noticed and the trench rendered useless. 
  • Alternatively, the player can drive down the dirt path beside the freeway (north of the base) and use the hill side as a ramp to enter the base, and then drive to a trench entrance. This is especially useful online, since the front checkpoints are gated. 
  • It is possible to enter the Air Traffic Control tower of Fort Zancudo. It has several rooms including a non-functioning elevator. At the top of the tower, there is a room where the Minigun will spawn on the floor every 30 to 90 seconds and in the uppermost level of the tower a health pack will spawn. There are two guards at the very top of the tower armed with Pump Shotguns or Carbine Rifles.
  • According to news reports on the radio, the military are planning to expand the fort by constructing a drone base. This could explain the short runway.
  • Unlike Area 69, Fort Zancudo does not have any SAMs on the ground to take out player-controlled aircraft. Instead, the P-966 will spawn behind the player and fire a Heat Seaking Rocket. If the player continues to look backward using the "look backward" function, the response aircraft may be delayed in spawn.
  • If the player is trying to steal a vehicle inside Fort Zancudo they should take massive caution as there are up to 4 Rhino tanks doing patrol in and around the base.
  • During the second hunting mission Fair Game given by Cletus, one can easily run from the hunting grounds and towards the Fort, being able to explore all of it without there being any hostile soldiers.
  • If you are flying really high, or flying dangerously near the ground above Fort Zancudo, the air traffic controller won't detect you and warn you to leave.
  • Strangely, when you fly over Los Santos International Airport, the air traffic controller will w

    Fort Zancudo Control Tower. Notice the alternate United States Map.

    arn the player to divert the area, but will sometimes warn the player that they will be shot down, even though there are no lock-on missles around to shoot the player down.
  • Inside the control tower, the computer screens show a map of the United States which slightly differs from the maps downstairs in the Training Center, especially on the West Coast. The rest of North America is absent.
  • Strangely, the in game map on the pause menu does not show the layout of Fort Zancudo at all, instead it is just an empty space on the map.
  • During around 7:00 - 7:10 AM patriotic music can be heard over the bases loudspeakers, possibly as a morning announcement. [Needs verification]

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