Argentina wants to inaugurate the new landing strip at the Petrel Antarctic base in November

In what seems to be a boost to the Antarctic race with Chile, within the framework of the territorial dispute of the White Continent, Argentina sets an inauguration date for the landing strip that will change the logistics between the 13 national bases, with the possibility of providing services to third countries.

16 de May de 2024 10:18

Argentina will change the methodology of supply and arrival to the white continent, creating a new dynamic between the permanent and temporary bases that the country has, in addition to adding services to other countries.

The national government intends to inaugurate the new landing strip at the Petrel base at the end of this year . It is a gateway to the white continent that will provide better logistics options for Argentine bases , but also the possibility of it being used by other countries.

The information was known at the same time that Chile confirmed the construction of a dock in one of its bases and the holding of a session of its Parliament on May 21 , also on the White Continent. These Chilean measures are interpreted in response to the announcement made in April by Javier Milei regarding building a logistics center in Ushuaia and other controversies that have arisen in recent weeks.

The newspaper Clarín mentions “the short circuits” of the current Presidency with Chile, which include exchanges of statements where the Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich , said that Islamic terrorist cells operated in the trans-Andean country. Taking into account that for this fact he had to recant and apologize to the Chilean government due to the repercussions generated.

The Joint Antarctic Commander, General Edgar Calandin , confirmed the work that was carried out to modernize the Petrel Base and the importance of a new landing strip.

The SAAB 340 of the Air Force registers T-34 flying over Petrel on February 25.

“Petrel is much more than a logistics base, in 2013 when there was a first idea to reopen Petrel [burned down in the 1970s] it had an eminently logistical perspective,” explained the military chief. We have now changed that, we want Petrel to be the center of gravity of Argentine Antarctic activity, a multimodal logistics node, which can link air transport with naval transport, providing services to third parties through it.

Currently, the main activities are carried out through the Marambio Base , which is located 200 meters above sea level, a situation that makes all logistics very complex , being carried out through helicopter flights from the icebreaker Almirante. Irizar and through the arrival of the Hercules plane.

The Petrel Base has better air operability since there are usually low tidal clouds, which is why the construction of the new landing strip was determined.

In this way, Argentina would change the methodology of supply and arrival to the white continent , creating a new dynamic between the 13 permanent and temporary bases that the country has.

Regarding services to third countries, the Buenos Aires media outlet assures that “inquiries have already been received with a view to operating from Petrel in the Czech Republic, Uruguay, Brazil, Spain and Colombia.”

It is added that “there is a natural competition between both countries because 50 percent of the income to Antarctica comes from Argentina or Chile; and the claims of sovereignty overlap territories and maritime spaces, although the claims have been frozen by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. The works in Petrel make the competition as a logistics hub that both countries aim at.”


By Agenda Malvinas


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