Design and Implementation of a Consolidated Airfield at McMurdo, Antarctica
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HANOVER NH COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB
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This report presents a consolidated airfield design for McMurdo, Antarctica. The design includes a single skiway for ski-equipped aircraft and a single runway for wheeled aircraft. Two possible locations for the new airfield are on glacial ice at the current Pegasus site or on a snow surface 4 5 miles NE of Pegasus. Final decision on the location requires balancing the need to locate the airfield outside the dust plume against the ability to establish on a snow surface a runway that supports wheeled aircraft. The current whiteout landing area would still serve the needs of the consolidated airfield and Williams Field would continue to act as an emergency divert site for ski-equipped aircraft. A review of the runway support facilities shows that the number of buildings can be reduced from 27 to 14, reducing the size of the town site and the travel distance between functional elements. The consolidated airfield, including support equipment and facilities, will take about seven years to complete. When complete, it will improve operational efficiency by consolidating services at a single location, eliminating movement of resources between two or more airfields, and allowing replacement of existing runway support buildings with more energy- and space-efficient designs.
- Terminal Flight Facilities