ESTACION POLAR TENIENTE ARTURO PARODI
1.0 polar network
EPTAP, or the Polar Station Parodi, was produced in a colaborative action between ARQZE and the Antartic Division of the Chilean Air Force, who are interested in establishing a permanent infrastructure in Patriot Hills to accomodate the anticipated increase in the logistical activity of blue ice runway in support of polar zone flight paths. EPTAP will conform the first permanent polar station in the vicinity of a blue ice zone. It has an initial capacity for 24 persons and will allow the Chilean Air Force to provide navigational, communicational, and logistical services throughout the summer months. Chile will pursue a long term policy of aerial and surface exploration, penetration, and habitation with this form of station producing a network beginning in King George Island, crossing points of logistical support in Welcome Nunatak and Thiel Mountains, and transforming Patriot Hills into the second most important national antartic settlement, catalysing scientific, cultural and touristic development within the interior of the continent. EPTAP becomes the first node of this network, extending national activity towards the pole and towards an aerial link with other continents close to antartica.
2.0 blue ice runway
morphology. Situated at 80 degrees south, the Patriot hills perforate 850m of ice and on their north side produce an acceleration in the catabatic winds which flow constantly northwards and downwards from the 4000m polar icecap. This local increase in the velocity of the winds displaces the snow layer and exposes the surface of the highly dense and transparent blue ice.
landing. In 1984 it was confirmed that this extensive horizontal surface could be implemented as a natural runway capable of receiving cargo planes such as h the hercules_c130, flying directly from punta arenas in 6 hours and landing with wheels on the ice.
air transport. given the difficulties in terrestrial travel in antarctica and the limited cargo capacity of ski equipped aircraft, blue ice runways will completely transform air transport, reducing costs spectacularly and establishing a network of natural airports that will activate the interior of the continent.