Environment

Oct 26, 2012

An enduring gateway at the ice end of the world

Antarctica's international runway was only meant to be a temporary solution to the challenge of pitting engineering against Earth's most extreme conditions. Now it's melting, writes journalist Jo Chandler.

The blue ice runway of Wilkins “International” Airport, the hub of Australia’s $46 million Antarctic airlink, is skating-rink slick. The surface is virtually polished by its frostbitten corps of keepers, who use laser-levelling technology to grade and shave the ice, and groom it to keep it snow-free for touchdown.

2 comments

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2 thoughts on “An enduring gateway at the ice end of the world

  1. Andrew McMillen

    Great read Jo, thanks.

  2. Kevin Tyerman

    Thank you, an interesting read.

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