There is a groomed snow runway at Halley which acts as a route for personnel and important cargo transport, but also allows aircraft to land and refuel on the way to other stations. Most of our operations use twin otter light aircraft, but on occasion the larger Baslers, which are converted DC-3, pass through. At the end of this season we had two Canadian Baslers and a twin otter come through on the same day on their way north. Aircraft operations are always a big deal as they involve a large number of people on station. The met team are required to provide hourly updates on the weather at the destination and origin, as well as being responsible for monitoring the conditions and making special reports if the weather deteriorates or improves. Comms of course are the most involved as they track the flights and communicate with the pilots. On the ground the management team wave the aircraft onto the apron and the vehicle guys are in charge of refuelling. On station the station support staff set up accommodation for the pilots and passengers and the chefs have to take the extra numbers into account.
The pilots were great and let us have a look around. Often when a return trip is planned station staff can go along and co-pilot on the twin otters. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance this season, but maybe next year.