Australia puts out tender for construction of Antarctica’s first paved runway
The Australian government has recently put the project for Antarctica’s first paved runway out for competitive tender. The multi-million dollar runway that is planned to be 2,700 metres long near the Davis research station in the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica. Though the construction may be deemed as difficult or impossible to some, Australia is determined to see it through despite the logistical issues of transporting the required equipment, materials, machinery, and crew to one of the coldest places on the planet. The Davis research station in Vestfold Hills was constructed under strict criteria for feasibility, environmental considerations and closeness to key areas of scientific interest and research.
The area is currently occupied by 100 people who live and work in close proximity to the proposed site for the runway. The nearby Davis research station is situated at 68° 34′ 36″ S, 77° 58′ 03″ E. The Australian Antarctic Division describes the site as mostly ice-free and covering an area of approximately 410 square kilometres between rocky hills. The paved runway and terminal facilities are expected to take up around two square kilometres.