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Airfield Master Plan Development for Single Airfield Complex

McMurdo Station, Antarctica

The US Air Force currently flies C-17 and LC-130 missions to support the National Science Foundation (NSF) operations and its 1,200-person staff at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. For about six months during the austral summer, aircraft land and takeoff from either a nearby floating Sea Ice Runway or a farther away Glacial Ice Runway and adjacent snow-covered Skiway. As NSF looks to modernize its facilities, this study was undertaken to determine the most efficient airfield and facility layout for consolidating at a Single Airfield Complex to be located on the Ross Ice Shelf.

CMT conducted site visits and stakeholder engagement to develop the plan. The result was an airfield master plan layout for a very unique airfield environment consisting of an ice runway for wheeled aircraft, compacted snow skiway for ski-equipped aircraft, aircraft parking spaces for C-17, LC-130, Basler DC-3 and Twin Otter aircraft, as well as fuel pit connection points for refueling the aircraft on site. In addition, CMT created conceptual floor plans for consolidating a myriad of airfield support functions into a much more efficient arrangement of new right-sized facilities with increased functional capability.