Helicopter delivery to the northernmost airport in the world

Aviacon Zitotrans is well-known among helicopter companies as a provider of logistics solutions for their rotary wing aircraft.

In March we performed a flight to Longyearbyen airport with MI-8 helicopter, going for rotation, right prior the moment when local Norwegian authorities had closed all commercial operations at the airport of Longyearbyen in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus from the mainland.

Svalbard Airport, Longyear (IATA: LYR, ICAO: ENSB; Norwegian: Svalbardlufthavn, Longyear) is the main airport serving Svalbard in Norway. It is 5 km northwest of Longyearbyen on the west coast and is the northernmost commercial airport in the world. Although Svalbard is under Norwegian sovereignty, the Svalbard Treaty of 1920 allows citizens of signatory countries equal rights to exploit natural resources. Russia, along with Norway, maintains mining operations on Svalbard and Barentsburg, the second-largest settlement on Svalbard, with about 470 inhabitants, almost entirely made up of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians. Barentsburg is a ‘company town’ with all facilities owned and maintained by Arktikugol, the Russian company which operates local coal mine. Arktikugol is the owner and final user of the helicopter we brought in onboard our IL76.

The delivery of the new helicopter came few weeks after Russian authorities declared, Russia’s long-standing plans for developing and modernizing its presence in Svalbard. Since air transport is critically important in this island, despite the strengthening quarantine procedures, all necessary approvals for the flight were granted and so, meeting all safety and sanitary requirements of both Norwegian and Russian authorities, the transportation was successfully performed. This delivery was a really difficult task and required professional and well-coordinated work of the entire airline team, which helped to find the most successful solution.

You can see some beautiful pictures of the helicopter loading in Yaroslavl following the link below:

Photo: Slava Stepanov, geliovostok.ruPhoto: Timofey Rogozhin

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