Antarctica Wilkins Ice Runway

airbus a319 first ice landing in antarctica picture

An Australian Government sponsored project to build a permanent runway in Antarctic has reached a new era after an Airbus A319  passenger jet made a historic landing on the continent's first ever blue ice runway--Wilkins Runway on December 10.

The runway situated 70km from Australia’s Casey research station is named after the country's adventurer and aviator Sir Hubert Wilkins [wikipedia], who made the first flight in Antarctica in the year of 1928.

Starting since 2005, Australian engineers constructed the runway by using laser levelling technology to grade and shave the ice flat.

The runway, which will be only open for scientists and research staff only but not tourists, is 4km long, 700m thick and moves about 12m southwest a year because of glacial drift. It costs A$10mn, or US$8.7mn.

Source: Gulf Times Click here to watch the video of Airbus A319's historical landing in Antarctic.

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