The Prime Minister officially launched the Australian–Antarctic Airlink in Hobart on 2 September 2005. To support the Airlink, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) will be funded by an additional $46.3 million over four years, as part of the Australian Government’s $3.2 billion commitment to the environment and heritage.
The Airlink and the intra-continental CASA 212–400 aircraft — which commenced operations in 2004–05 — will deliver between 200 and 250 personnel and high priority equipment between Hobart, Casey, Davis, Mawson and other locations within Antarctica.
Inter-continental flights will operate over summer between Hobart and a snow capped blue ice runway near Casey station. Each flight will take 9–10 hours for a return trip and flights will run approximately every 7–10 days. Trial flights are scheduled to start in 2006–07.