Norse Atlantic Airways marked a significant milestone in aviation history with the first landing of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner, registration LN-FNC, named “Everglades,” at Troll Airfield (QAT) in Antarctica. The remarkable landing took place at 02:01 local time on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
Led by Norse Atlantic Airways and contracted by the Norwegian Polar Institute and Aircontact, Scandinavia’s largest and leading air broker firm, this Dreamliner mission transported essential research equipment and scientists to the remote Troll research station in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.
Aboard flight N0787 were 45 passengers, including scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute and other countries, destined for different stations in Antarctica. The flight also transported 12 tons of essential research equipment crucial for Antarctic exploration.
Starting from Oslo on November 13, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner made a stop in Cape Town, South Africa, before embarking on the challenging Antarctic leg.
Departing Cape Town at 23:03 on Wednesday, the aircraft spent over 40 hours in South Africa before its historic landing at Troll Airfield.
Bjørn Tore Larsen, CEO of Norse Atlantic Airways, expressed immense pride and honor in achieving this historic milestone:
“It is a great honor and excitement on behalf of the entire team Norse that we have achieved together a momentous moment of landing the first 787 Dreamliner. In the spirit of exploration, we are proud to have a hand in this important and unique mission. It is a true testament to our highly trained and skilled pilots and crew, and our state-of-the-art Boeing aircraft.”
Antarctica lacks conventional paved runways; hence Norse Atlantic Airways landed on a ‘blue ice runway’, 3,000 meters long and 60 meters wide, at Troll Airfield. The Norwegian Polar Institute operates the research station located in Jutulsessen in Queen Maud Land, approximately 235 kilometers (146 miles) from the coast.
Camilla Brekke, Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, said: “The most crucial aspect is the environmental gain we can achieve by using large and modern aircraft of this type for Troll. This can help reduce overall emissions and the environmental footprint in Antarctica.”
“Landing such a large aircraft opens up entirely new possibilities for logistics at Troll, which will also contribute to strengthening Norwegian research in Antarctica,” Brekke added.