Boulder Clay Runway (74°44′22″S 164°02′07″E) is located about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of Zucchelli Station
on the Northern Foothills; the construction started in the 2016–17 season and will be completed in the 2021–22. The Italian team usually use an Ice Runway in the
Gerlache Inlet to start the summer campaign but in recent years the ice runway was closed earlier then before because of the ice thickness had diminished due to
partial melting of the ice. The airstrip is situated on the Boulder Clay Moraine and is built with the least environmental impact as possible. It is a gravel runway
2,200 metres (7,200 ft) long and 60 metres (200 ft) wide in order to be suitable to the Safair or Aeronautica Militare C-130J
or other larger types, such as the C-17 Globemaster, Airbus A319-115LR and Boeing 757. The airfield will be completed with a taxiway which connect the apron with
the runway, an apron for aircraft parking and operational tasks, capable of stationing two C-130 Hercules, fire service as ICAO standards, fuel deposit, terminal
and shed for the personnel, operation room and a power unit. On 22 November 2022 at 4.30 CET a C-130J Hercules of the Italian Air Force landed for the first time on
the gravel runway. This year the reduced thickness of the ice in the Ross Sea did not allowed the use of the sea ice runway for the heavier C-130. Boulder Clay
Runway will become an international hub as it can be used by the other nearby research stations.
Safair L100-30 leased by PNRA at Christchurch Airport in-between missions to Zucchelli Station
Zucchelli Station is an Italian seasonal research station, located at Terra Nova Bay in Antarctica on a granitic headland along the coast of the Northern Foothills to north-east of Gerlache Inlet. It has been named after Mario Zucchelli, director of the activities, which conducted for sixteen years, for the ENEA-Unità Tecnica Antartide as part of the National Antarctic Research Program (PNRA).
Zucchelli Station at Terra Nova Bay. Photo by Andrew Mandemaker. CC BY 2.5.
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