Flying to Antarctica
Flights to Antarctica depart from various locations around the world, including South America and Africa. Most of these flights are chartered by tour companies and are usually operated during the austral summer, which is from November to February.
The most popular departure point for flights to Antarctica is Punta Arenas, a city in southern Chile.
Antarctica has several ice runways that are used to support scientific research and tourism on the continent. These ice runways are located in remote areas and are built on top of glaciers or compacted snow and ice.
One of the most well-known ice runways in Antarctica is the Blue Ice Runway, which is located near the McMurdo Station on the Ross Ice Shelf. This runway is made up of compacted snow and ice and is capable of supporting large aircraft, such as the C-130 Hercules transport plane.
Another popular ice runway is the Union Glacier Airstrip, which is located near the Union Glacier Basecamp in the Ellsworth Mountains. This runway is also made up of compacted snow and ice and can accommodate smaller aircraft, such as the Twin Otter or Basler BT-67.
Wolf’s Fang Runway (WFR) is a remote ice runway located in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. It is considered one of the most challenging runways in the world due to its location and the extreme weather conditions that can occur in the area.
The runway was originally built by the Chinese in 2010 and is located near the Kunlun Station, which is a Chinese research station in Antarctica. The runway is approximately 1,500 meters long and is built on top of a glacier.
One of the biggest challenges of operating at Wolf’s Fang Runway is the extreme cold temperatures that can drop as low as -60 degrees Celsius. The runway also sits at an altitude of over 4,000 meters, which can make it difficult for aircraft to take off and land.
Despite these challenges, the runway has been used for several research missions in Antarctica, including geological surveys and mapping missions. It has also been used for tourist flights, allowing visitors to experience the remote and stunning landscape of Queen Maud Land.
There are charter flights from Cape Town in South Africa to Queen Maud Land by Airbus A340-300.
Costs of Flying to Antarctica
Flying to Antarctica is extremely expensive and a several hour flight can cost much more than a 12 day luxury cruise to the continent.