Accessibility and logistics

Thanks to many years of cooperation with Chile, DLR and BKG can rely on Chilean Antarctic infrastructure and polar logistics. This means that GARS O'Higgins can be accessed from Punta Arenas via King George Island by ship, airplane and helicopter. Provision of flights by PROANTAR (Programa Antártico Brasileiro) is also an important part of the logistics.

By air

FACh‘s DHC-6 Twin Otter

From Punta Arenas on the southern tip of Chile one can fly to King George Island on a Hercules C-130 transport machine of the Chilean, Brazilian or Uruguayan air force (Fuerza Aérea de Chile (FACh), Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB), Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya (FAU), respectively). There are flights to the Chilean airfield Teniente R. Marsh on King George Island several times a year. This stretch is flown by FAB on behalf of PROANTAR and by FAU on behalf of Instituto Antártico Uruguayo (IAU). During summertime in the Antarctic the private airline Aerovías DAP also offers commercial flights between Punta Arenas and King George Island.

O'Higgins can be reached from King George Island year-round with special polar aircraft. As required, a runway suitable for landing a DHC-6 Twin Otter owned by FACh and equipped with runners is prepared 3 km southeast of the station on a continental glacier. Preparation of the runway and the Skidoo transfer of people and cargo from and to the runway with snowmobiles are handled by personnel from Chile’s General Bernardo O’Higgins station. In exceptional cases FACh also uses a Bell 412 helicopter for the flight between King George Island and O‘Higgins. 

By water

Depending on the sea ice and iceberg situation, O’Higgins can also be reached by ship during the Antarctic summer. In particular, provisioning the station with marine diesel fuel, transporting containers and piece goods to and from the station, and in some cases exchanging staff are handled by the Chilean navy using the ships ATF Lautaro and Almirante Oscar Viel.