Antarctica: A Boeing 787 lands on the ice floe for the first time


For the first time in history, a Boeing 787 managed to land on the ice floe on November 15.

This Norse Atlantic Airways plane was carrying 45 passengers from Oslo to Antarctica after a stopover in South Africa. The landing took place without incident on an icy runway 3.000 meters long and 60 meters wide at Troll airfield, in Queen Maud Land. “The plane that landed last night was carrying passengers from several countries who were going to other stations,” detailed John Guldahl, director of operations and logistics at the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI). It was this research organization that piloted the operation. The aircraft was transporting scientists in particular, but also twelve tonnes of research equipment. In the process, many Norwegian researchers welcomed this first on social networks, the video broadcast on X (formerly Twitter) already has more than 700.000 views. “This shows our ability to carry out more profitable flights to Antarctica by transporting a larger scientific and logistical crew but also more cargo with a lower environmental footprint,” wrote NPI director Camilla Brekke. According to her, this should also contribute “to strengthening Norwegian research in Antarctica”. This is not the first time that an aircraft has landed on this runway. Each year, between “six and eight planes of different sizes” land at this airfield. But they are much smaller. “This means that the aerodrome can help reduce flights and maritime traffic, which will contribute to a reduction in overall emissions in Antarctica,” said the NPI. In other words: the authorities now hope to bring in fewer but larger planes.

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