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National Science Foundation HomeNational Science Foundation - Directorate for Geological Sciences (GEO)
Polar Programs (PLR)
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Division of Polar Programs

Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics (AIL)
Frequently Asked Question about the U.S. Antarctic Program
U.S. Antarctic Environmental Policy
President's Memordanum Regarding Antarctica (Memorandum 6646, February 1982)
U.S. Policy on Private Expeditions to Antarctica
View PLR Staff
U.S. Antarctic Policy
USAP stations & related facilities
bullet McMurdo Station
bullet Crary Science and Engineering Center
bullet Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
bullet Palmer Station
bullet Field Camps
USAP support resources
bullet USAP aircraft support
bullet USAP aircraft landing areas
bullet USAP ship support
bullet USAP traverse support
GEO Organizations
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Earth Sciences (EAR)
Ocean Sciences (OCE)
Polar Programs (POLAR)
Polar Programs Organizations
Antarctic Sciences (ANT)
Arctic Sciences (ARC)
Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics (AIL)
Polar Environment, Safety and Health (PESH)
U.S. Antarctic Program sites
USAP.gov — The U.S. Antarctic Program web portal
PolarIce (USAP Science Support Website)
USAP Marine Operations Services
Antarctic Treaty sites
U.S. Annual Report to the Antarctic Treaty
Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs
Antarctic Treaty Secretariat
Antarctic Treaty Committee for Environmental Protection
Polar Programs Information
Contact Polar Programs
Polar Programs Budget Information
Related Polar Links
Polar Programs Publications list
Philatelic mail
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Helicopter transporting cargo in a sling

A helicopter takes a sling load of cargo from Lake Vida to McMurdo Station. (NSF photo by Brian Glazer.)

Petroleum Helicopters Inc. (PHI) of Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1996 won a competitively bid contract from the NSF to provide McMurdo-based helicopter operations as a part of the planned withdrawal of the U.S. Navy from Antarctica. The first austral summer season of operation was 1996-1997. The contractor provides four commercial helicopters — two AS-350-B2 "A-Stars" and two Bell 212s. The "A-Stars" carry up to 5 passengers and 1 pilot and have a flight range of 420 miles (676 kilometers). The Bell 212s have a greater capacity than the "A-Stars", carrying up to 13 passengers and 2 pilots. Their flight range is 237 miles (381 kilometers).

PHI was again awarded the helicopter-support contract for USAP in 2013.

A helicopter lands near the Beardmore Camp in the Transantarctic Mountains

USAP participants board a National Science Foundation helicopter in Taylor Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys, enroute to Blood Falls. NSF photo by Peter Rejcek.


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