Volga-Dnepr Airlines first-ever ‘season’ of cargo flights to Antarctica transported over 190 tonnes of cargo to support the new DROMLAN international Antarctic project supported by nations including Belgium, Germany, Finland, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
On behalf of the project, run by the Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI), Volga-Dnepr completed 12 return flights using its IL-76TD-90VD freighter. The flights commenced on 4 November last year and connected Cape Town with the Novolazarevskaya Antarctic Research Station, a distance of some 4,200 kilometres.
Volga-Dnepr delivered 125 tonnes of general cargo to the Antarctic airfield and carried a further 64 tonnes from the ‘ice continent’. The shipments were for the implementation of research and logistics programmes in Antarctica and included an inland delivery of 34 tonnes from Novolazarevskaya Station to the central regions of the continent.
DROMLAN was created to reduce the expenditures of the project’s participants in the Antarctic region. ALCI arranges intercontinental flights from Cape Town to the ice airfields of Queen Maud Land and inland flights using aircraft with ski-and-wheel systems. It also provides radio communications and weather monitoring for flight operations as well as food and accommodation for expedition participants.
The Russian Antarctic expedition helped to launch the DROMLAN project and every year it prepares and maintains the runway near Novolazarevskaya Station, also providing the delivery of aviation fuel to the airfield.