Australia's Antarctic aviation

A319 on the ice at Wilkins runway near Casey
A319 on the ice at Wilkins runway near Casey (Photo: Glenn Jacobson)
A Basler aircraft in the foreground, with A319 aircraft in the backgroundRed helicopter on helipad on the ship deck, with the deck officer standing in front of two expeditioners waiting to board

The Antarctic aviation system consists of a regular intercontinental air service or Airlink from Hobart in Australia to the Wilkins Aerodrome near Casey, and intracontinental services provided by fixed wing aircraft and assorted helicopters which link the stations and provide access to other areas of the continent for scientific field work.

The intercontinental aircraft is an Airbus A319-115LR operated by Skytraders Pty Ltd and the helicopters are operated by Helicopter Resources Pty Ltd.

The ski equipped BT-67 Basler and DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft are operated by Kenn Borek Air Ltd.

The intercontinental air transport is designed to move approximately 400 passengers each summer season and a limited amount of high priority, lightweight cargo (current maximum of 1500 kg per flight).