Weather window opens for Wilkins ice runway
Australia’s Antarctic ice runway at Wilkins Aerodrome will re-open for flights after its closure due to warm temperatures.
Flights to the ice runway will resume after ice temperatures dropped below the threshold temperature of minus 5 degrees Celsius.
The forecast for the end of this week and the weekend look encouraging for a number of return flights from Hobart to Wilkins of 6900 kilometres.
During the weather window over three consecutive days, a RAAF C17-A Globemaster will bring 24 expeditioners home, including AAD Director Kim Ellis, whose return to Australia has been delayed by several weeks.
This will be followed by a Skytraders Airbus A319, then another C17-A to deliver heavy equipment and critical supplies for Casey research station, and a proof-of-concept flight for a modified C130J Hercules.
Wilkins usually closes for 4–6 weeks at the height of summer, but this season it closed a week earlier than normal and remained shut for 10 weeks.
Wilkins Aerodrome is located on a glacier, 70km inland from Australia’s Casey research station in east Antarctica.
Updated flight schedules are available on the AAD website.