Key Points:

  • Norse Atlantic Airways successfully landed a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on an ice runway in Antarctica, marking a first for this aircraft type on the continent.

  • The flight, carrying scientists and equipment, was part of a mission for the Norwegian Polar Institute, emphasizing efficient and sustainable research logistics.

  • The Dreamliner’s capacity and fuel efficiency made it an ideal choice for this challenging and environmentally sensitive mission.

Historic Dreamliner Landing on Antarctic Ice Runway

In a remarkable aviation milestone, Norse Atlantic Airways successfully landed a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on an ice runway in Antarctica. The landing took place at Troll Airfield, a 3,000-meter-long and 60-meter-wide strip carved from snow and ice. This event marks the first time a widebody aircraft like the Dreamliner, which can accommodate up to 330 passengers depending on the configuration, has touched down on the sixth continent.

Specialized Mission to Support Antarctic Research

This groundbreaking flight was far from a standard passenger route. Flight N0787 transported 45 passengers, primarily scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute, along with 12 tons of research equipment. The mission, departing from Oslo and stopping in Cape Town, was contracted to facilitate research activities at the Troll station in Queen Maud Land. The journey, commencing on November 13, represented a significant logistical feat, culminating in the record-setting landing in the early hours of Wednesday under the bright sunlight of the southern hemisphere's summer.

Emphasis on Sustainability and Research Capabilities

The selection of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for this mission was strategic, leveraging its ample cargo space and fuel efficiency. Daniel Carey of Aircontact, the broker behind the flight, and Paul Erlandsson of Boeing highlighted these aspects as key to the aircraft's suitability for the mission. Norse Atlantic Airways CEO, Bjørn Tore Larsen, expressed pride in this achievement, underscoring the skill of the crew and the advanced capabilities of the aircraft. Camilla Brekke, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, emphasized the environmental benefits of using such a large and modern aircraft, pointing out the potential for reduced emissions and a smaller environmental footprint in Antarctica. This mission not only supports Norwegian research in the region but also opens new logistical possibilities for operations at Troll Airfield.