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Living and Working - Aurora Australis above Halley VI module

Living & Working

Sky Blu Logistics Facility

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Position: Latitude 74° 51' S, 71° 34' W, Eastern Ellsworth Land
Chief activity: Forward logistics facility with skiway and blue ice runway
Occupied: Summer-only occupation since February 1995.

Semi permanent field camp at Sky Blu Nunataks

Sky-Blu is an area of blue ice situated close to Sky-Hi Nunataks suitable for use as an ice runway for wheeled aircraft. First located by BAS in 1993-94, the runway has rapidly assumed a position of vital importance in support of BAS deep-field operations, because it can be used by Dash-7  aircraft. The greater freight capacity of the Dash-7 has provided fuel/load cost benefits in the support of deep field parties which were earlier undertaken exclusively by wheel-ski Twin Otter  aircraft.

Sky-Blu became fully operational as a logistics facility in 1997-98 when an earlier high latitude depot at Sky-Hi Nunataks was de-commissioned.

The groomed blue ice runway is up to 1.2 km in length and 50 m wide, permanently marked by flags. At the start of each summer season snow drifts have to be removed from the runway. In support of the runway, and 500 m south-west of the runway apron, is the main camp which remains year round. It comprises a "melon" hut together with a number of tents, garage, food depot, radio aerial, toilet facility etc.

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