What it’s like to take off and land at -50º at the world’s most extreme airport

Goblin Airport. Photo: @polarinstituttet

Troll Airfield has a very challenging runway for any self-respecting military or commercial pilot, no matter how many years of professional life they carry. Everything goes wrong in seconds., at the mercy of snow and adverse weather conditions, with temperatures reaching minus 50 degrees during polar winters. Only the most experienced professionals dare – and have the necessary permits – to land and take off from this tiny airport, which is at the end of the world or almost surrounded by snow on all four sides.

Owned by the Norwegian government, Butham Airfield is located at one of the northernmost points of Antarctica, on a glacier 1,232 meters above sea level in Lazarev, 6.8 kilometers from the scientific site that bears its name and 235 kilometers from the coast of Princess Marta, in the land of the mystical Queen Maud. It is controlled by the heads of the Norwegian Polar Institute, which is dedicated to climate, environmental and mapping research. It has a blue ice ring 3,300 meters long and 100 meters wide., officially opened in 2005. For scientists, reaching these remote lands is only possible from Cape Town International Airport, one of South Africa’s three capitals, where the legislature resides. Rather, it serves as a nerve center to facilitate the movement of researchers based in the area for a reasonable time to travel to other scientific sites located in Antarctica.

Commercial or private flights are still not allowed at Troll Airport ie. From Cape Town, there are regular long-haul flights to the destination Lockheed C-130 Hercules, approximately nine hours of flight time, and Ilyushin II-76, five and a half hours from the South African city. As for internal links between research sites, Bassler BT-67s routinely complete the journey. For a year, giant Boeing 767s operated by Icelandair could be seen landing and taking off from these icy lands.

See also  Maduro denies using artificial intelligence in political campaigning

The average annual temperature in this Antarctic desert is minus 25 degrees, although temperature variations during the four seasons are extreme. In summer it is zero degrees. In winter, thermometers can drop to minus 50. To this must be added the erratic storms created by air pockets that are difficult to predict.

read more:

In addition to extreme weather conditions, experienced pilots fly to and from troll airfields with added complexity An instrument cannot maneuver through the landing system. They must use visual flight rules with no reference. Not a building or structure around it, just a blanket of snow and white ice as far as the eye could see. In summer, when the sun shines brightly in the sky, visible 24 hours a day (known as the midnight sun), it is easy to spread blinding light on the runway, making it even more difficult to operate powerful aircraft.

You may be interested | In the video

Video: This is the first flying car in history

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top