Intracontinental ski landing area locations

A flat expanse of Antarctic plateau with sea in background, featuring a spaceship like tracked vehicle attending the runway
Casey ski landing area (Photo: Cary Collis)
A shot from way up high shows cleared area of snow with some vehicles looking tiny on the ground. This shot shows the curve of the earth at the horizon.

There are ski landing areas at Casey, Davis and Mawson with a runway at Wilkins Aerodrome approximately 70 kilometres from Casey station.

Casey region

In addition to the intercontinental groomed glacial ice runway a simple ski landing area (SLA) for intra-continental aircraft close to Casey has been established approximately ten kilometres east of the station. This location is accessible by wheeled vehicles when snow conditions are suitable, a trip of about 1/2 hour. The same journey in a Hägglunds over-snow vehicle takes up to an hour.

Davis region

An early summer sea ice SLA has been established immediately adjacent to Davis. When the sea ice deteriorates in this location with the onset of summer, usually in early December, operations are moved to the Plough Island SLA, six kilometres north of Davis.

The Davis Plateau ice SLA, approximately 40 kilometres east of the station, is established around late December when the sea ice at Plough Island has deteriorated. Helicopters are used to transfer personnel and cargo between the SLA and the station, a trip of about 20 minutes.

Mawson region

An early summer sea ice SLA has been established close to Mawson.

During summer, when sea ice is not present, a SLA or ice runway on the inland ice plateau is required. This has been established at Rumdoodle, approximately ten kilometres from Mawson, a one hour Hägglunds ride from the station.

Other locations

Ski equipped aircraft are used to deploy and retrieve scientific parties at field locations throughout the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) and beyond according to the needs and priorities of scientific programs.

Operations to field locations use naturally occurring flat areas of snow, ice on the polar plateau or glaciers, and sea ice.