Australia’s proposed Antarctic aerodrome open for comment
The initial proposal for a new aerodrome in Antarctica is now publicly available.
Kim Ellis, Director, Australian Antarctic Division In 2016, the Australian Government launched a strategy and action plan for Antarctica and this sets a new era and a new standard for Australia’s engagement in Antarctica.
Kim Ellis “It also foreshadowed the work to develop a paved aerodrome at Davis Station.”
The proposed aerodrome will enable more ambitious science
It will provide year-round access and improve emergency response.
Kim Ellis “It will transform the science we’re able to deliver in Antarctica. At the moment we’re constrained by a very narrow summer window to get our logistics in and out and our scientists work is limited by that operational window.”
The proposal includes a 2,700m long runway, aircraft apron, and buildings.
Scientists have been on the ground for several years to build an understanding of the site.
The project will have a high level of environmental scrutiny, nationally and internationally.
Kim Ellis “There will undoubtedly be some environmental impacts and the process we’re going through now will ensure those impacts are minimised and mitigated where possible through alternative construction methodology or changes to the design and operation of the airfield.”
Kim Ellis “Over the 60 years that Australia has been involved in Antarctica we’ve set a very high benchmark for all our activities and operations and this project is no exception.”