Christchurch is the world’s main gateway to Antarctica. Around 100 direct flights a year leave its airport, carrying more than 5,500 passengers and 1,400 tons of cargo, including fresh food.
Antarctic connection began in 1955 with Operation Deep Freeze, when eight US Air Force aircraft made the 14-hour flight from Harewood Airfield to McMurdo Station. Operation Deep Freeze continues today, and with the arrival of the International Antarctic Centre in 1992, Christchurch continues to embrace its Antarctic connection.
Christchurch’s Acting Mayor Andrew Turner is welcoming news that international workers bound for Antarctica will be allowed to stop-over in the city on their way to the ice.
The Government has announced it is granting essential staff from various international Antarctic programs an exemption from the current border closures.
The international staff arriving in New Zealand will need to spend time in managed isolation before they are allowed to travel onto Antarctica to resupply bases and change-over team members who have been stationed on the ice through the winter.
The first of the workers will arrive in Christchurch on Friday 7 August to begin their two weeks isolation.
“I’m pleased to see Christchurch playing its key role as an Antarctic Gateway City by being able to welcome and safely host these international visitors in this way’’, said Turner.
Read also: https://defpost.com/new-zealand-defence-force-begins-its-annual-airlift-mission-to-support-scientific-research-in-antarctica/
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