The North Pole – is the magic point on top of the World, where all meridians meet. Ice base Barneo is the unique complex, each year in late March it is assembled from scratch, consisting of ice runway and ice base, both are integral parts of the project.
Two Mi-8 helicopters take off in Siberia and fly North, via Khatanga, Dikson and Island Sredny in Archipelago Northern Land. After refueling on Island Sredny, they stay on route for as long as they have fuel.
Once they land on the sea ice they transmit their coordinates to the main land, after which an IL-76 cargo aircraft depart from Murmansk to the helicopters' location, which we call Zhalyuzi-1.
After air-dropping fuel, IL-76 continue onits way to the North Pole where it drop more fuel along with paratroopers and guide the helicopters to this new location, which we call Zhalyuzi-2. Once this mission is accomplished, the helicopters begin the search for a suitable site.
Finding the required ice floe is a daunting task. The Barneo floe must be oval-shaped, detached from the surrounding sea ice and must be at least 2 km long so that it can accommodate a 1,200 m runway and the camp.
Once coordinates of Barneo are established, the camp from Zhalyuzi-2 relocated to this new spot and one more flight of IL-76 from Murmansk air-drop tractors, extra fuel and more paratroopers. The construction of the runway begins.
Tractors only clean the snow, and the rest is being built by hand. There are 3 shifts, working non-stop. When runway is ready three technical AN-74 flights follow, the camp is built and the Flag of Barneo is raised.
Once Barneo base is set up, it becomes the center of research and tourism in the Arctic which is operational for about one month. The Ice Base consists of specially designed tents with rigid frames, equipped with comfortable camp beds. Each tent accommodates 8 to 10 guests.
All the tents are heated, and the temperature inside is kept between 20° and 22°C. The largest ones are mess tents: one for staff and one for visitors. These tents are connected by a kitchen block.
Mess tent for visitors is the main place for meetings and briefings, here travelers meet and get to know each other. Breakfast, lunches and dinners are served here at specified times, and snacks, coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day.
Cozy living modules...
Delicious hot food...
Spacious mess room...
With an aircraft AN-74 we will bring you from Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen, Norway) to the ice base Barneo. The whole flight takes about 2.5 hours, depending on Barneo location.
The AN-74 aircraft is built for operation in extreme conditions, particularly in the Arctic and the Antarctic. The airplane is designed to carry passengers, equipment and other cargo, at all latitudes and in mountain regions.
It can take off and land on concrete, gravel, ice or snow runways and operates on domestic and international flights.
Mi-8 helicopter brings you to the geographic North Pole; approximately flight duration is 40 min. The Mi-8 helicopter is a tested and reliable machine.
It provides a good level of expedition comfort and perfect safety for passengers in extreme conditions of the Polar Regions. There are two helicopters at Barneo Mi-8 and its more powerful modification Mi-8MTB.
End of April the final passenger flight arrives to pick up the last travelers and researchers after which the camp is dismantled and flown back to Longyearbyen where it is stored until the next year. A new camp will be built next spring to continue support efforts in the Arctic once again.