Chile’s plan to improve connectivity with Antarctica

The project seeks to improve the quality of services at the Frei Base, improve the sanitary system for the residents of Villa Las Estrellas and restore the Prat Base, the country’s oldest one in Antarctica.

The materialization of the work has been estimated at US$ 100 million
The materialization of the work has been estimated at US$ 100 million

The idea is to improve the airport, ports, roads, and sanitary and conservation services. These are the five pillars that the Plan Antarctica will focus on as a Public Works Ministry initiative aimed at improving the quality of the services provided in the area, in particular the Frei Base.

The concrete goal is to increase air connectivity, optimizing the facilities and the runway of the Teniente marsh aerodrome on the South Shetlands archipelago on King George Island. US$ 700,000 was allocated to this project for the necessary studies alone, as the materialization of the work has been estimated at US$ 100 million.

The initiative also considers entering the road network of Chilean Antarctica for safer connectivity. This means upgrading the 1,500 meter road between the aerodrome and Villa las Estrellas.

The work will also be focused on deciding a new location for the Fildes Bay port facility to allow larger ships to dock, including the icebreaker Viel and medium-size cruisers. The pre-feasibility studies alone, which will be held in 2011-2012, will cost around US$ 700,000.

Likewise, the ministry presented projects to replace the drinking water system for the settlement and the work to upgrade the Prat Base, Chile’s oldest facility in Antarctica.

Antártica is a very important place not just for Chile, but for all humanity. The country has committed itself to watching over the preservation and study of the white continent’s resources. This effort has prompted different Chilean scientific expeditions to be sent into the field to analyze an area that on its own concentrates 90% of the water available in the world.

This post is also available in Spanish