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China to Build First Permanent Airport in Antarctica

Science and Technology Daily, an official newspaper of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, quoted someone familiar with the matter on Sunday and reported that the Chinese government plans to build the first permanent airport in Antarctica within a few years in order to receive tourists and researchers regularly.

“The infrastructure will include the runway and a terminal building. According to the plan, the airport will be built in a selected place. It will take several years before the airport is built.” he said. The source said that the airport will be built directly on the glacier covering the surface of Antarctica.

The source also said that as early as 2009 and 2010, Chinese experts built two runways dedicated to emergency landings and refueling for fixed-wing aircraft. One of them was three kilometers west of the Chinese Kunlun Station in Antarctica. He said that China has a more and more urgent need to build a regular airport at the other end of the earth.

Experts believe that, to this end, China needs to negotiate regular flight issues with countries that can provide support for temporary landings. China’s polar plane, “Snow Eagle 601,” which will fly such a long route, will be forced to stop midway for technical support, fuel, or handling bad weather.

Source: Sputnik News, October 29, 2018