Flight to Casey station via McMurdo for Australian Antarctic program

Antarctic Division personnel disembarking the A319 aircraft on the ice at McMurdo station
Antarctic Division personnel arrive at McMurdo station on the A319
View of McMurdo station from A319 plane windowGroup shot of Antarctic Division personnel in front of McMurdo station signTouch-down at Casey skiwayHercules touches down at Casey skiwayThe first summer expeditioners disembark the Hercules at Casey station

Australia’s Antarctic summer season has begun with a flight to Casey station via the United States’ McMurdo station.

The A319 left Hobart for McMurdo on Monday, but bad weather delayed the onward ski-equipped Hercules flights to Casey for a week.

Forty-nine Australian Antarctic Division personnel were on the flight including runway construction crew, station support and scientists.

The Division’s Aviation Manager, Steve Daw, said the idea behind the early flight was to get the Wilkins runway operational early.

“It takes about four weeks to get the runway prepared, so being able to get our construction crew in there early means our summer season can start sooner,” Mr Daw said.

“It also means the shipping program can be more flexible as the Aurora Australis doesn't have to go to Casey and we are able to get station support staff in early to help prepare for the upcoming season," he said.