Auckland - The RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Air Force) has launched its annual airlift support mission to the Antarctic. Eleven missions are planned.

In the summer season of 2016-17, the RNZAF flew 260 scientists and auxiliaries as well as 83 tons of vital relief supplies into the Antarctic.

In total, ninety New Zealand and American scientists and support staff and 12.5 tonnes of payload were flown to Antarctica on a Boeing 757. On the return flight, then 40 people were on board.

The RNZAF will conduct eleven strategic air transport flights in this Antarctic summer, five with the Boeing 757 and six with C-130 Hercules. The aim of these transport missions is to bring scientists and equipment needed to support New Zealand and American research programs on the continent, said Lieutenant Commander Hickey, the officer who is responsible for the missions.

In the summer season of 2016-17, the Royal New Zealand Air Force flew 260 scientists and auxiliaries as well as 83 tons of vital relief supplies into the Antarctic. On average, the annual Antarctic air transport missions carry around 320 passengers and 40 tons of freight to McMurdo and Scott Base stations.