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First Ice Runway In Antartica, Ever

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Passengers, scientists, government officials and ground crew gather for a group photo on the purpose-built Wilkins glacial blue ice runway in front of the first Airbus A319 jet to carry passengers from Hobart to Antarctica, some 65kms from the Australian Antarctic research station of Casey.

 

A historic passenger jet flight from Australia to Antarctica touched down smoothly on a blue ice runway Friday, launching the only regular airlink between the continents.

The runway, which is four kilometres (2.5 miles) long, 700 metres wide and moves about 12 metres southwest a year because of glacial drift, was carved out of the ice and levelled using laser technology.

"The runway here is a lot smoother than a lot of runways at international airports around the world," said pilot Garry Studd.

The 46 million dollar (41 million US) runway took more than two years to build and is designed to bring scientists and other Australian Antarctic Division staff to the frozen continent to study issues such as climate change.

image The runway was named after the adventurer and aviator Sir Hubert Wilkins, who made the first flight in Antarctica 79 years ago.

 

 

 

Peter Garrett, Federal Minister for the Environment and former rock star, takes in the view from the purpose-built Wilkins glacial blue ice runway in front of the first Airbus A319 jet to carry passengers from Hobart to Antarctica, some 65kms from the Australian Antarctic research station of Casey.

 

 

IN BAHASA

Landasan yang panjangnya mencapai 4 km, dan lebar 700 meter dan bergerak kira-kira 12 meter arah barat daya per tahun akibat pergerakan es ini, diukir dan dibentuk menggunakan teknologi laser. "Landasan disini jauh lebih mulus dibandingkan dengan landasan di airport-airport lain di dunia", kata pilot pesawat tersebut, Garry Studd. Landasan seharga US$41 juta dollar (atau sekitar 383 milyar rupiah) memakan waktu 2 tahun dalam pembangunannya, yang nantinya akan digunakan untuk membawa para ilmuwan dan staff divisi antartika Australia ke kawasan kutub untuk mempelajari berbagai masalah seperti pemanasan global belakangan ini. Landasan tersebut diberi nama Sir Hubert Wilkins, orang yang pertama kali melakukan penerbangan di antartika 79 tahun yang lalu.

 

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source : AFP via spluch

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