Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


RNZAF Orion Lands On Antarctica

17 January 2005

RNZAF Orion Lands On Antarctica

Click for big version
A P3-K Orion after landing on the ice runways at Antarctica. The Orion was conducting a trial flight to the region. The trial flight will determine the feasibility of conducting patrols from Antarctica


For the first time a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion has landed on the ice runways of Antarctica.

The P3-K Orion, from No. 5 Squadron was conducting a trial flight to the region. The trial flight will determine the feasibility of conducting patrols from Antarctica in support of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

The aircraft, with thirteen crew on board landed on the Ice yesterday afternoon and is now on its way back to Christchurch.

While the aircraft and crew has operated in extreme cold weather conditions before, this is the first time they have operated from an ice runway.

Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Dick Newlands says the trial flight will confirm whether or not the Orion can operate from the Pegasus Airfield at Antarctica. "Pending the outcome of this trial flight future surveillance missions may operate from Antarctica with specific emphasis on meeting the CCAMLR surveillance, deterrence and enforcement requirements," said Air Commodore Newlands.

The flight was welcomed by New Zealand's CCAMLR Commissioner, Trevor Hughes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"These flights are in support of the CCAMLR Convention, which aims to conserve the precious marine life of the Southern Ocean. The Orion flights demonstrate how seriously New Zealand takes CCAMLR's goals," said Mr Hughes.

Antarctica New Zealand CEO Lou Sanson says operating out of Antarctica would provide greater direct access to the Southern Ocean.

"We are grateful to the RNZAF for the possibilities this trial presents in terms of the New Zealand Antarctic programme's future capability. In addition it gives New Zealand the opportunity to assist with additional SAR and medevac coverage," said Mr Sanson.

Planning for the trial flight began nearly two years ago and is not a result of the current activity in the Southern Ocean, which is currently out of the range of the Orion.


The P3-K Orion The Royal New Zealand Air Force operates six P3-K Orion's as part of No. 5 Squadron, at RNZAF Base Auckland in Whenuapai.

The maritime surveillance aircraft regularly conduct fisheries and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) patrols and perform tasks such as resource protection, surveillance and search and rescue missions.

A programme is currently underway to upgrade the Orion's missions systems, including radar, navigation and communication systems.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news