The Ice Runway on McMurdo Sound




"Ice town" is a temporary camp that is hauled out onto McMurdo sound in August and then to the Ross Ice Shelf in December when the Ross Sea starts to melt. This is ensure that we have a runway year round in the event that it's needed. The runway at Icetown is the only one on the continent where C141s and the newer C17 transport planes can land. This is due to the fact that is essentially a runway carved into the ice so that these wheeled planes and taxi and behave much in the same way that they would on a normal runway. Everywhere else in Antarctica, including William's Field on the Ice Shelf, is open only to ski equipped the C130 Hercules, or LC130s.

On a busy day, this portable airport will oversee the arrival and departure of 10 planes per day.


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"Ice Town"

Main Street

Radar Dome

Air Traffic Control

ATC Control Room

Flight Line

LC 130 Hercules

Me by an LC 130


Cargo Bay


LC 130 from the side

Twin Otter